Video Recordings Now Part of Police Investigations

Daniel Noffsinger - Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The use of deadly force by police officers in cities all over the United States has been a hot topic since last year. In 2015 alone, according to The Guardian newspaper, 1,134 people were killed by police. A disproportionate amount of the dead are young, unarmed, African-American males. When the incidents are investigated, many feel the use of deadly force was unnecessary to apprehend the suspect. Others feel the police officer had reason to believe his or her own life was in danger, necessitating the use of deadly force.

Both sides of the debate have advanced arguments in support or in opposition to the use of body cameras by police officers. Many want encounters with police recorded as events unfold to accurately account for what happens. City police forces have moved towards the introduction of body cameras to be worn by their police force to record all encounters with the police. An equal number of municipalities already record police encounters with dashboard cameras. The city of Colorado Springs has elected to outfit all of their police officers with body cameras.

Police to Wear Body Cameras in April 2016

In the Fall of 2015, the city of Colorado Springs was awarded a grant totaling $600,000 for the purchase of body cameras for the city’s police force by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Colorado Springs Police Department is set to purchase 500 cameras for about 470 police officers that directly interact with the public at large. By April 2016, the Colorado Springs Police Department expected to have between 50 and 100 police officers outfitted with body cameras, the size of a pager, that clip to the outside of their uniform. By the fall of 2016, the entire Colorado Springs Police Department will have received and be actively wearing the body cameras.

Policies were developed to address safety and privacy concerns voiced by the public and the police officers. Matters such as when the police officer should start recording, whether a police officer can watch the video of the recording when use of police force is at issue, and public access to video footage have all been fleshed out.

During an encounter with police, a suspect will need to be extra cautious because a picture is always worth more than one thousand words. There are plenty of examples of people berating or belittling police officers during an arrest that go viral. In addition to an arrest, a suspect may lose his or her job because of the recorded conduct during an encounter with police. Expect the entire interaction with the police to be recorded and remember to courteous and exercise your right to remain silent.

Contact a Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been arrested or is involved in a criminal investigation or proceeding, contactNoffsinger Law, to schedule a free consultation. Located in Colorado Springs we are open weekdays to address your inquiries. Visit us online or call (719) 368-3688 to schedule your free case evaluation.