Criminal defense attorneys are always trying to get video to defend their clients looking to show that their clients did not commit a crime or that there was no reason for the police contact. Now comes news that the ACLU has an app that is supposed to have a direct download of video if the app is used so that the video will still be preserved even if for some reason, the video gets deleted even by the police.
It is a very interesting concept and one to gain momentum because of the cases in the news where video clearly showed excessive force being used against individuals, no reason for the detention, or that a suspicion of a crime occurring was unwarranted. We have seen the video from LA where a CHP officer pummeled a woman who had mental health issues where there was video; Ferguson where there was no video; SF where there was video was obtained by the public defender’s office showing the cops lied about how they entered a residence; video sin Sacramento a few years ago leading to dismissals of many cases and a conviction of a police officer for false reports; and many other cases where video helped contradict officer accounts which lead to dismissals or reduced charges that didn’t make the news.
Undoubtedly video doesn’t always capture the whole event, but what is captured can be very valuable to a defense in criminal cases. The Sacramento Bee article “Lights, Camera, Police Action” is a very interesting article that looks at both sides of the story. For a link to the SacBee story, click Here.