A whistleblower in Albuquerque, NM, has revealed all the nasty stuff done with SD cards and reports when it comes to body cameras. I don’t think this will surprise anyone in the least, but it does point to a big problem with body cameras: cops have control of them. If they are going to work in the way intended, cops, no matter how high up the chain, cannot be allowed control of them in any way. If not, it’s the same old problem of what the cops say goes.
The Albuquerque Police Department is coming under fire after former records supervisor, Reynaldo Chavez, gave a sworn affidavit claiming officers altered and deleted body camera videos.
According to New Mexico In Depth, after at least two police shootings, videos were deleted or edited so they didn’t show the incident.
He also said that video cards were easy to take or conveniently lose. He heard Assistant Chief Robert Huntsman confess “we can make this disappear” discussing the body camera videos that were on the SD cards.
The disappearances weren’t unique to patrol officers. Chavez revealed that officers in multiple divisions, including specialized units, were all told not to write reports until there was a review of the body camera videos. If the videos didn’t contain anything concerning, the officers could write up the report on what was recorded. If images were considered “problematic,” officers were told not to mention the recording in the report, write “the recording equipment had malfunctioned” or say that the officer failed to turn on the body camera.
If there were reports that detailed what occurred in the recording, “the video would be altered or corrupted if it was damaging to the police department,” Chavez said.
Full story here.