How Is Police Video Footage Handled and Archived?
As you may have noticed, at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, we think that police body cameras and the footage that they collect are one of the most important legal issues facing our country at this moment.
There are real benefits to having a more objective account of what happens between police officers and suspects—and if administrated properly, this footage could help private citizens and law enforcement alike.
Unfortunately, there still is not enough oversight on how this footage is handled and archived. While some precincts have clear protocols for body cameras, as well as the footage they collect, many still have yet to put such safeguards in place. With thousands of hours already recorded of private citizens in Pittsburgh, a lack of proper policy for police video footage could mean disaster for the rights of those recorded and for the criminal justice system.
Problems with Police Video Footage in Court
This causes a real problem for the courts, because any inconsistencies or improprieties in how this video is handled could make these vital records inadmissible—defeating the purpose of body cameras in the first place.
In order to insure that proper policies are put in place and followed for handling and archiving police video footage, we have long advocated police video tech certification and training program be put in place, alongside clear regulations for camera use.
Our long record writing on this subject attracted the attention of American City & Country, a magazine and website focusing on government trends and policies. We had the opportunity to shed some light on this important subject in a recent interview with them. Head to their website here to read more and watch the associated video on how you can properly archive any video you have of police.
If you believe you have video demonstrating police abuse or with other legal implications and are not sure what to do with it, we are happy to help. Call us at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC today at (412) 281-2146 for a free consultation.