Officers With Personal Body Cams Taking The 'Public' Out Of 'Public Accountability'

from the purchase-the-new-Axon-CYA! dept

America's largest sheriff's department is rolling towards an accountability train wreck. Despite years of discussing the issue, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department still has no cohesive policy on body cameras, nor has it taken steps to outfit its officers with the devices.

This less-than-ideal situation is being made worse by deputies purchasing their own body cameras with personal funds.

An estimated 20 percent of Los Angeles County's 10,000 deputies have bought cameras for themselves, according to the county's inspector general. Sheriff Jim McDonnell concedes some deputies have their own cameras but disputes that as many as 2,000 wear them on duty.

Whatever the number, not a single frame of any video from these cameras has ever made it into the public domain.

And therein lies the problem. Body cameras owned by law enforcement officers serve zero public purpose. Any recordings remain the personal property of the officers, who can delete and edit footage as they see fit. The only footage likely to make its way into the hands of the sheriff's department are recordings clearing officers of wrongdoing.

While it may be possible to subpoena this footage for civil suits and criminal prosecutions, there's no guarantee the footage will arrive unaltered, or even arrive at all. Personal body cams are unlikely to be bundled with unlimited storage. Footage will be overwritten often (depending on how heavily the camera is used while on duty) and remains in the control of officers, rather than the department and its oversight.

As is pointed out in the AP article, the use of privately-owned body cameras contradicts DOJ guidance on the matter. A 2014 DOJ report noted private cameras on public employees is an all-around bad idea.

"Because the agency would not own the recorded data, there would be little or no protection against the officer tampering with the videos or releasing them to the public or online," the report said. "Agencies should not permit personnel to use privately owned body-worn cameras while on duty."

The LA sheriff's department makes this worse by allowing the practice to continue without official policies on body camera use. Even the barest minimum of discipline for deleting footage is impossible, as the department is powerless to take action against deputies who vanish away footage containing alleged misconduct.

The head of the local law enforcement union pretty much says the only people benefiting from personal body cameras are the officers that own them.

"It's really a personal preference," [union president Ron] Hernandez said. "The guys we have spoken to have said they thought it would be beneficial for them. They see the value in covering themselves."

Sorry, but that's not what body cameras are for. They may provide evidence clearing officers of misconduct, but body cameras aren't there to create law enforcement highlight reels. While it's great some officers may find the cameras useful for clearing themselves of charges, they are public employees, not private entities engaging in personal enforcement of laws. The footage should be as public as their positions. But this will never happen if their employer is unwilling to craft a solid body cam policy that addresses private ownership of cameras.

As it stands now, the department is allowing its existing policies on evidence handling to act as a stand-in for its non-existent body camera policy. According to these rules, all evidence must be held for two years and turned over on request to the sheriff's department. Supposedly, this will encompass privately-held body camera footage. But it would be much better for body cam evidence to be stored on site where it's immediately accessible and less prone to tampering.

Body cameras are already problematic. They have the potential to be great tools of accountability, but this has been continually stunted by legislators and law enforcement agencies, many of which have done all they can to keep this footage out of the public's hands. In this case, the LASD's lack of forward momentum on the camera front has turned a portion of its workforce into sole proprietors with badges, guns, and a collection of home movies starring residents of L.A. County.


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 1 Sep 2017 @ 4:05pm

    "It's really a personal preference," [union president Ron] Hernandez said. "The guys we have spoken to have said they thought it would be beneficial for them. They see the value in covering themselves."

    After an excuse like that I really hope that the union and it's members they are fine with non-cops recording interactions with police, though I can't say I'd be too surprised were that not the case.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 Sep 2017 @ 4:06pm

    Not Admissable

    Well if the video is open to editing, or being able to be refused to the defense because it is privately owned, then it has no evidence value. Because it has no evidence value it should not be admitted for anything, including departmental proceedings, especially when it has been 'adjusted' to clear potential wrongdoings.

    But, CYA is strong inside that thin blue line.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 4:20pm

    "Because the agency would not own the recorded data, there would be little or no protection against the officer tampering with the videos"


    But average joe citizen would. Evidence is "mother fucking evidence", people have gone to jail for fucking less!

    Nice to see that citizens are still 2nd class.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 4:24pm

    404 Error

    This less-than-ideal situation is being made worse by deputies purchasing their own body cameras with personal funds.

    Following the link, the Ledger-Enquirer webpage sez 404:

    Oops...

    Unfortunately, we are unable to locate the page you requested. Please check the web address you entered and try again.

    Check the hyperlink in the article above.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    stine, 1 Sep 2017 @ 4:25pm

    really?

    Do you mean like this one?
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/11/us/south-carolina-officer-shooting-tape-amazon/index.html

    i don't have any other info on that officer, but he did get gas-chamber evidence of the shooting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 5:02pm

    An estimated 20 percent of Los Angeles County's 10,000 deputies have bought cameras for themselves, according to the county's inspector general.

    Wow, that 20% of the cops in Los Angeles are making even a minor effort to be "good cops" is, frankly, amazing. There's some kind of warm feeling in my chest, almost like my faith in humanity is being restored...

    Whatever the number, not a single frame of any video from these cameras has ever made it into the public domain.

    ...and it's gone again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 5:58pm

    LA County Government

    ¦ "The LA sheriff's department makes this worse by allowing the practice to continue without official policies on body camera use."


    Corrupt leadership is the base problem. LASD has a terrible performance record for decades across the board -- and poorly serves the citizens. Concentrated power corrupts -- LASD is the largest sheriff's department and the fourth largest local police agency in the US.

    Even worse is the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in charge of LASD.

    Los Angeles County followed the usual California practice in NOT subdividing into separate counties ... or increasing the number of elected supervisors as its local population soared after 1920. This resulted in extreme concentration of local government political power in the mere five (5) LA County supervisors-- each one now represents more than 2 million people. And despite the County's diverse population, the districts are heavily gerrymandered by race, with little regard for geography.

    LA County Supervisors are known as the "five little kings".
    Unseating an incumbent Supervisor is extraordinarily difficult, due to the many incumbent protections the supervisors have created for themselves.
    LA citizens certainly are shortchanged by their entrenched local politicians (and cops).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Sep 2017 @ 6:21pm

    Re: really?

    The whole point of department-owned body cams is that their footage cannot be fudged with by the cop wearing the cam. A personally-owned body cam does not offer the same guarantee. Take that case a few weeks ago where the officer was caught planting drugs and “re-creating” a bust: If the camera that caught the footage was instead owned by the cop himself, the incriminating footage could have been edited out by the cop without anyone else ever knowing it existed.

    Cops love body cameras when the footage exonerates them of a crime or provides them with irrefutable evidence of one. Cops hate body cameras when the footage shows them planting evidence, killing someone without justifiable cause, or generally doing something that would get them fired if police unions gave a shit about firing bad cops.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 6:22pm

    Body mounted Dash Cam

    If I were a cop and my department didn't issue body-cams, I too would purchase one for myself. I have dash cams installed in every can I drive. Footage may someday help provide evidence of an accident and possibly prove my or my wife's innocence or possibly provide details for a hit and run. I've seen amazing things in my years of driving and wish I had had a dash-cam to record them all. If I were an officer interacting with the public, I would assume another method of corroborating my side of the story is only going to help.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 6:26pm

    One question - if body camera footage is "public" when generated by police officers, does that mean that we, the public, should have full unfettered access to it? Aren't there privacy concerns?

    I mean, yeah, you could stream it live and beat the pants off "Cops" for entertainment value, but is that really a good idea?

    People recording cops doing their job is not public domain, so in the absence of an official policy, cops doing it themselves isn't either. If they destroy any evidence, it's the same result as if they didn't record it in the first place. Altering it would be trivial to unmask. All told, 20% of cops recording is better than nothing, so I don't see the problem in this case.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    tin-foil-hat, 1 Sep 2017 @ 8:31pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 1st, 2017 @ 6:26pm

    It's worse than not recording at all. A video can be creatively edited to be incriminating.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Sep 2017 @ 8:48pm

    Or to remove incriminating evidence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 8:54pm

    Re:

    Again, totally obvious. Altered video can be pretty easily detected unless it is done by an intelligence service or other professional. If a cop could do such high quality work, well then they are in the wrong profession.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 10:10pm

    Re:

    If they destroy any evidence, it's the same result as if they didn't record it in the first place.

    If they were going to destroy any evidence than they wouldn't bother buying body cameras. No, they're just going to destroy any evidence which incriminates them.

    That's the problem. That individual police officers are even in a position to do this. That the police as a whole are able to do this. That they're trying to do this. It's about trust, and the police standing up as a group and saying, "No, we aren't perfect. We'll make mistakes. We'll do bad things. But when we do there will be just as much evidence of our wrongdoing as there is of yours."

    Altering it would be trivial to unmask.

    It depends. The larger edits are very easy to spot, but they aren't that useful either. It's the framing that's important. When you start the video, when you stop it. Blur the audio a little more than it already is. Zoom and pan slightly so that thing on the edge of the screen isn't on the screen anymore. Speed parts up slightly so everything seems more hectic. All simple to do, all difficult to prove, but combined they can significantly alter the perception of those watching it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 2 Sep 2017 @ 3:05am

    Spoliation Instruction

    If the officer has a personal video camera, and that footage is not available to the defendant, he is likely going to request a spoliation instruction.

    The judge instructs the jury, in effect, that because the evidence was in the sole custody and control of Officer McSnarfley, and has disappeared without good explanation in light of the officer's knowledge of impending litigation [prosecution], the jury should presume that the missing video would have refuted the cop's story.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Tim Adamec (profile), 2 Sep 2017 @ 7:51am

    Meh.

    Let them wear their own self-purchased body cameras. They can put it on the uniform opposite the publicly provided camera.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2017 @ 10:20am

    Re: Spoliation Instruction

    … in light of the officer's knowledge of impending litigation…

    By now, everyone's probably seen the police body cam video that Utah nurse Alex Wubbels released at a news conference at her attorneys office last Thursday. According to multiple news accounts, Ms Wubbels does not currently anticipate litigation.

    “ ‘This is crazy,’ sobs Utah hospital nurse as cop roughs her up, arrests her for doing her job”, by Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, Sep 2, 2016 (updated)

    For now, Wubbels is not taking any legal action against police.

    Of further relevance here, this police body cam video was reputedly obtained through a public records request under Utah law. (Note, though, that I haven't been able to confirm this detail from a reliable source—at this point, that's just a believable “rumor”.)

    Also note that Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski says that she didn't see the video until after it had been released publicly.

    Like many of you, I watched the video of police officers interacting with University of Utah Medical Center nurse Alex Wubbles [sic] for the first time through the media late yesterday [Aug 31, 2017].

    It seems unlikely that the arresting officer would have been put on paid administrative leave without the public release of the video and subsequent media attention.

    Two S.L. police officers placed on leave as video of nurse arrest spreads”, by McKenzie Romero, KSL, Sep 1, 2017 (updated)

    The Salt Lake Police Department announced Friday afternoon that the officer involved in the startling video had been placed on paid administrative leave — hours after Chief Mike Brown announced that the officer had still been working on duty but in a limited role since the incident occurred more than a month ago.

    Yet again, “For now, Wubbels is not taking any legal action against police.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2017 @ 11:02am

    Re: 404 Error

    This morning I'm still getting a 404 error(*) from the Ledger-Enquirer url linked in Cushing's article above.

    Here's a (hopefully!) working link to the story from the AP website…

    LA deputies’ private body cams raise transparency questions”, by Michael Balsamo, Associated Press, Aug 12, 2017

    An estimated 20 percent of Los Angeles County’s 10,000 deputies have bought cameras for themselves, according to the county’s inspector general. Sheriff Jim McDonnell concedes some deputies have their own cameras but disputes that as many as 2,000 wear them on duty.

    Whatever the number, not a single frame of any video from these cameras has ever made it into the public domain.

    Note, though, that the Ledger-Enquirer may have run a different version of this story. I have no way of knowing.

    ( *404 error: Yesterday, I additionally saw some 502 and 503 errors from that link. Further, at one point, I got a page from the Ledger-Enquirer website that said something like, ‘We're experiencing technical difficulties’.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2017 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: 404 Error

    Note, though, that the Ledger-Enquirer may have run a different version of this story. I have no way of knowing.

    Wayback Machine.

    Let me re-phrase “no way of knowing” to “really didn't care that much.” If someone's interested, they can run a diff betweened the archived version and the version now on the AP website. I'm not going to bother.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2017 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    Also note that Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski says that she didn't see the video until after it had been released publicly.

    Further, in yesterday's news conference, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown says he also first saw the complete body cam video two days ago.

    At about 7:35 –:40 in this video of the Sep 1, 2017 press conference with Salt Lake City Mayor Biskupski and Police Chief Brown:

    Q: Chief, when did you first see the video?

    Chief Brown: I saw it first yesterday, in its entirety.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2017 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    “For now, Wubbels is not taking any legal action against police.”

    In Nurse Alex Wubbels' interview with KUTV 2News yesterday (Sep 1, 2017), she perhaps clarified her current position on impending or anticipated litigation.

    Beginning slightly before the 5:30 timemark in the interview video:

    Q: Has any of this changed your mind about a lawsuit?

    Wubbels: The lawsuit again has never been off the table. Nothing's off the table — nothing's been decided. On anything. . . .

    With Ms Wubbels' publicly-expressed indecision here, it's not certain whether the officers who were wearing the body cams which captured video of the incident — it's not certain they should anticipate a lawsuit from her.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Manok, 2 Sep 2017 @ 2:27pm

    Just as more and more cars get dash cams, why aren't there more and more bodycams for EVERYBODY, not just cops? If cops with personal bodycams are a problem, this could fairly easily be negated by far more private citizens having these.

    Biggest problem are prices... dash cams can be as low as $10, whereas bodycams are crazy expensive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2017 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    (             … Sep 1, 2017 press conference with Salt Lake City Mayor Biskupski and Police Chief Brown…

    Parenthetically, a more complete video of the Sep 1, 2017 press conference with Mayor Biskupski and Chief Brown contains an additional 3:45 or so at the beginning. The q&a that I referenced above occurs around the 11:15 timemark in this more complete video.   )

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2017 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    It seems unlikely that the arresting officer would have been put on paid administrative leave without the public release of the video and subsequent media attention.

    The current criminal investigation of the officers' conduct also appears to have been triggered by the public release of the video.

    SLC mayor, police chief apologize for officer who arrested nurse; criminal investigation to follow”, by Luke Ramseth, Salt Lake Tribune, Sep 1, 2017

    Hours after Salt Lake City’s mayor and police chief apologized [...], Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Friday [Sep 1, 2017] he wanted a criminal investigation into the [July 26, 2017] episode.

    [...]

    Gill said he discussed the situation with Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Chief Mike Brown on Friday morning, and they agreed it would be appropriate to conduct an investigation in the name of ”transparency and institutional accountability.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2017 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    The current criminal investigation of the officers' conduct also appears to have been triggered by the public release of the video.

    Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill's post on Facebook yesterday (Sep 1, 2017)—

    I have received multiple contacts raising alarm and concerns involving the arrest of the nurse at the university of Utah. After watching the video I both understand and share those concerns. My office and I contacted the SLC and Chief Mike Brown late this morning [Sep 1, 2017]. In fairness to all those involved I have requested a criminal investigation into the incident so that the District Attorneys office could screen the matter after gathering all the facts. Our office had not received any materials on the matter thus far and in the interest of justice and given the prima facie evidence a criminal investigation is warranted. . . .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Kirby Todd, 2 Sep 2017 @ 9:51pm

    What If

    What if someone filed a FOIA req for all personal body cam footage?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2017 @ 10:28pm

    Re: What If

    What if someone filed a FOIA req for all personal body cam footage?

    You mean a request under the California Public Records Act (CPRA)? Submitted to… whom?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2017 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

                … paid administrative leave…

    … current criminal investigation…

    Working out the causal chain here, it now appears to me that the current criminal investigation was the direct triggering event for the change in the officers' status.

    Salt Lake City police endure growing wave of public criticism — including rally against cop brutality — after nurse’s arrest”, by Luke Ramseth and Jessica Miller, Salt Lake Tribune, Sep 2, 2017

    [Salt Lake City Police Department spokeswoman Christina Judd] said there is no department requirement to place an officer on leave during an internal affairs investigation. ”It’s a case-by-case basis.” . . .

    When an investigation into an employee by an outside police agency begins, however, ”staff is put on administrative leave immediately to facilitate that process,” Judd said. She said the Unified police probe began Friday, so Payne and the other officer were placed on leave.

    This particular direct causal link was not quite crystal clear to me from earlier coverage.

    Putting it together, though, the public release of the body cam video led to Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill's request for a criminal investigation. That, in turn, caused the officers to be placed on paid administrative leave.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2017 @ 1:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    … the current criminal investigation was the direct triggering event for the change in the officers' status.

    Salt Lake City Police Department (@slcpd) Sep 1, 2017 tweet

    As a result of this criminal investigation, the Salt Lake City Police Department officer involved will be placed on full administrative leave.

    “As a result&hellip”

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2017 @ 3:53am

    Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    (             By now, everyone's probably seen the police body cam video…

    Parenthetically again, Good4Utah.com has pages containing both a 30:31 body cam video from arresting officer Detective Jeff Payne, as well as the 19:22 body cam video from another officer. That second webpage actually contains both of these videos on one page, but perhaps seems to feature the 19:22 video — which is also available at the YouTube link I provided above. At present, I've been unable to find the 30:31 video on YouTube.   )

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 3 Sep 2017 @ 4:05am

    Re:

    If cops with personal bodycams are a problem, this could fairly easily be negated by far more private citizens having these.

    Not as much as you might think, just consider the various and numerous stories about police going nuts over people recording them with phones, up to and including grabbing the phones in question(to 'preserve evidence' of course) to prevent people from recording them.

    If they are already that hostile to the cameras people can already record them with I don't see that changing by a transition to/addition of bodycams.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. icon
    TRX302 (profile), 3 Sep 2017 @ 10:54am

    Yeah, but the police aren't the only ones wearing bodycams now. You can get a cheap one under $100 and a better one for under $200. If you work in retail, or have a CDL, or work in emergency services, they can save your job if you're maliciously accused.

    My little MP3 player, which is clipped to my shirt as part of my clothing, has a record mode. It's audio only, but it has proven useful in various disputes.

    I'm mostly waiting for the size of the video recorders to come down, not so much the price; I'm carrying quite a lot of equipment already in my daily load-out, and I don't want a big bodycam too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. icon
    TRX302 (profile), 3 Sep 2017 @ 10:59am

    Re: Not Admissable

    As untrustworthy as some PDs have shown themselves to be,
    I wouldn't automatically assume they haven't edited the video themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2017 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    > full administrative leave

    translation: paid vacation

    "Oh, don't throw me in that briar patch, Mister Wolf..."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2017 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    translation: paid vacation

    Look at the incident dispassionately. Here are some of the factors that I've seen in the reports—

    • Alex Wubbels was assaulted and forcibly removed from her work building.
    • Ms Wubbels was confined in Det Payne's car for about 20 minutes.
    • Ms Wubbels was not transported away from the hospital grounds.
    • The assault caused a substantial disruption to the health care facility's normal functioning.
    • The assault on Ms Wubbels occurred while she was performing her duty as a nurse.
    • The assault on Ms Wubbels occurred while she was performing her duty to prevent an intended assault on a helpless, vulnerable, severely-injured patient.
    • Forseeably, an already severely-injured burn patient might suffer further grave injury or die from an otherwise minor assault.
    • While Detective Jeff Payne, his watch commander Lieutenant James Tracy, and other officers carried sidearms, no one drew or brandished their weapons.
    • The assault was carried out under color of law.
    • Ms Wubbels did not suffer any severe or long-lasting physical harm.

    Summing up these, and any other relevant factors, in the totality, does it really amount to more than —as you put it— a “paid vacation” ?

     

    ( Incidentally, if dialogue in this thread drifts too much, then maybe we should change the subject line. Or not. I'm still implicitly making a point in response to the OP. ;-).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2017 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    in the totality, does it really amount to more than —as you put it— a “paid vacation” ?

    Lats answer that with another question, would want that officer dealing with say a lost child, or a confused Alzheimers sufferer?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2017 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    … would want that officer dealing with say a lost child, or a confused Alzheimers sufferer?

    Something I don't understand clearly is why the Salt Lake City police officers on the scene released Ms Wubbels after 20 minutes in Detecive Payne's car. While she was confined, did Lieutenant Tracy and Detective Payne complete their intended assault on her patient, burn victim William Gray ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2017 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    Something I don't understand clearly…

    The Salt Lake Tribune asserts that they have viewed Salt Lake City police officers' reports on the incident.

    In Pamela Manson's story, “Video shows Utah nurse screaming, being handcuffed after refusing to take blood from unconscious victim” (Aug 31, 2017)—

    In a written report, [Detective Jeff] Payne said…

    [Lieutenant James] Tracy said in his report…

    In Luke Ramseth's story, “SLC mayor, police chief apologize for officer who arrested nurse; criminal investigation to follow” (Sep 1, 2017)—

    In Payne’s report of the episode…

    … Tracy wrote in his own report.

    Tracy wrote that…

    Another officer, Denton Harper, … wrote in his report…

    I haven't seen copies of these written reports myself, though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Kirby Todd, 3 Sep 2017 @ 10:57pm

    Re:

    I've used a little MP3 recorder for years. It has enough memory that I can record about eight hours on a set of batteries. It's gotten two bosses fired.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2017 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    L[e]ts answer that…

    Salt Lake City Police Detective Jeff Payne has now been fired from his part-time job as a paramedic.

    @GoldCrossUtah on Twitter (Sep 5, 2017)

    Gold Cross Ambulance in Salt Lake City, Utah has terminated Jeff Payne as a part-time paramedic effective immediately. Although Jeff was not working for Gold Cross Ambulance at the time of the incident, we take his inappropriate remarks regarding patient transports seriously. . . .

    SLC detective involved in nurse’s arrest is fired from his part-time paramedic job”, by Luke Ramseth, Salt Lake Tribune, Sep 5, 2017

    At one point in the footage, Payne remarks to another officer — apparently frustrated by Wubbels’ refusal to allow a blood draw — that he could retaliate against the hospital in his role as a Gold Cross paramedic.

    “I‘ll bring them all the transients and take good patients elsewhere,” Payne says in the footage.

    The Salt Lake Tribune's excerpted video (published on YouTube Sep 1, 2017) from Det Payne's body cam contains the detective's remarks beginning from about the 1:20 timemark up to about the 1:40 timemark.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2017 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

                … Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski says…

    … Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown says…

    Salt Lake City Mayor's Office: “FAQ on July 26th police incident at the University of Utah Medical Center” (undated)

    When did Mayor Biskupski and Chief Mike Brown view the video?

    Like the public, Mayor Biskupski first saw the video of the July 26th incident online on Thursday, August 31st. . . .

    While SLCPD command staff reviewed the video within 24 hours, Chief Mike Brown did not view the video until Thursday, August 31st. The Chief is typically separated from the evidence of an Internal Affairs investigation until it is complete due to his role as the final arbiter in employment action. . . .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2017 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    @slcpd: “As a result of this criminal investigation, the Salt Lake City Police Department officer involved will be placed on full administrative leave.”

    Compare those Sep 1, 2017 “additional statements” against the recent (undated) “FAQ on July 26th police incident at the University of Utah Medical Center

    Why weren’t the Salt Lake City Police Department officers involved placed on administrative leave immediately?

     . . . When Mayor Biskupski and Chief Mike Brown first reviewed the video on August 31st, they took steps to ensure both officers were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the Internal Affairs investigation. . . .

    “As a result of this criminal investigation” versus “pending the outcome of the Internal Affairs investigation”.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2017 @ 10:18am

    Re: Spoliation Instruction

    If the officer has a personal video camera, and that footage is not available to the defendant, he is likely going to request a spoliation instruction.

    Before Cushing's article began to make its way down the Techdirt sidebar, on its way towards leaving the front page altogether here, I kind of expected someone to ask just what exactly the Utah nurse incident had to do with a “spoliation instruction” ?

    Perhaps I made my point so plainly enough in my initial response that everyone can see without any further explanation. But I was kind of expecting someone to ask. Maybe it was just a long holiday weekend.

    Popping back out into this context, today, here's a Deseret News column by Jay Evensen which asks, counterfactually, “Imagine if a nurse was arrested and no one shot any video” ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. identicon
    ResearchOrganizedGangStalking, 6 Sep 2017 @ 9:53pm

    Crowd Fund?

    Anyone here want to help me Crowdfund a pot of money to buy the LAPD EVERYTHING they need to get this program started?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2017 @ 1:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    I haven't seen copies of these written reports myself, though.

    Limited postscript: On Sep 13, 2017, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski released two redacted reports(*) on the Wubbels incident at a press conference. One of these two reports, the Salt Lake City independent Police Civilian Review Board (CRB) investigation report (signature by panel chair dated “9/9/17”), contains an “official police report” by Jeff Payne on pp. 4-6.

    To date, I still haven't seen reports on the incident written by James Tracy or Denton Harper.

     

    ( * Unredacted internal affairs reports were also published on Sep 13, 2017 by the Salt Lake Tribune in a story by Luke Ramseth and Pamela Manson, “Internal affairs investigation finds police officers who arrested nurse violated a number of department policies”. The Salt Lake Tribune story states these full internal affairs reports were obtained through a public records request. )

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2017 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    (             At present, I've been unable to find the 30:31 video on YouTube.

    Det Jeff Payne 30:01 body cam video, published on YouTube Sep 6, 2017, and described as obtained “through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request”. This video appears to be missing the initial 30 seconds of audio-free footage seen in the Good4Utah.com (ABC4 Utah) 30:31 video. The two videos appear to end at same point. )

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2017 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    ( * Unredacted internal affairs reports… )

    ( Correction/clarification: Partially redacted. — At the Sep 13 news conference, Mayor Biskupski released bare descriptions of the policy violations found by internal affairs. That same day, The Salt Lake Tribune published partially redacted copies of internal affairs memoranda sent to Det Jeff Payne and to Lt James Tracy. )

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2017 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    [T]his police body cam video was reputedly obtained through a public records request under Utah law.

    Backfilling corroboration—

    Union says city 'made pariahs' of officers in U. nurse arrest”, by Pat Reavy, KSL, Sep 25, 2017

    Wubbels' attorney, Karra Porter, said Monday [Sep 25, 2017] that her office talked to the city attorney's office before filing a Government Records Access Management Act request, which was approved.

    Accident victim at center of University Hospital blood-draw controversy dies”, by Stephen Hunt and Luke Ramseth, Salt Lake Tribune, Sep 26, 2017

    [Salt Lake City mayor] Biskupski spokesman Matthew Rojas said the videos were properly released by the Salt Lake City Attorney’s Office. He said Wubbels requested the footage under GRAMA, and because she was the subject of the footage, “we had no reason not to fulfill the request.” The city, he noted, had no control over Wubbels and her attorney ultimately releasing the videos to the news media.

    It was an accurate ”rumor”.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2017 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    (             On Sep 13, 2017, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski… at a press conference.

    YouTube link for Sep 13, 2017 “Press Conference: Update on SLC Police and UMED Incident” (10:16 video published Sep 14, 2017 by Salt Lake City Television).

    This is a different video than the Good4Utah.com (ABC4 Utah) 14:38 video published at the bottom of the Sep 13, 2017 story by Simone Francis, “Mayor shares update on nurse arrest investigation”. The YouTube video contains about 2:50 at the beginning which is not present in the Good4Utah.com video. The shorter YouTube video, though, omits about 7:10 of reporters q&a which is present at the end of the longer video. )

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2017 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Spoliation Instruction

    [Let's] answer that…

    Oct 10, 2017 Memorandum from Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown to Jeff Payne, “Re: Notice of Decision — Internal Affairs Case # C17-0062 Termination of Employment”.

    Via “Chief fires officer who arrested U. nurse; lieutenant demoted”, by Pat Reavy, Deseret News, Oct 10, 2017.

    KUTV has video of reaction by Alex Wubbels and her attorney, Karra Porter, attached to the story by Daniel Woodruff, “Alex Wubbels, attorney react after firing of Salt Lake City police detective” (Oct 10, 2017)

    “I think I owe it to the body camera footage,” Wubbels said. “Without that, my story would never have had the impact that it has had.”

    For another copy of the termination memorandum, see “Footage ‘tells the truth,’ Utah nurse says after the SLC officer who arrested her was fired”, by Luke Ramseth and Pamela Manson, Salt Lake Tribune, Oct 10, 2017. This story also contains a reaction by (now-former SLCPD Detective) Jeff Payne's attorney, Greg Skordas—

    “I‘m really frustrated by the way this case has been processed,” Skordas said. “I do think that Salt Lake City did a fair job of doing the investigation, and I think that their findings are, by and large, accurate. But I think the chief reacted to a lot of public pressure and scrutiny in making a decision that doesn’t fit the conduct.”

    Additionally, see “Salt Lake City officers will appeal their punishments over nurse arrest; University of Utah hospital changes policies”, by Jessica Miller and Luke Ramseth, Salt Lake Tribune, Oct 11, 2017

    Both Salt Lake City police officers at the center of a controversial arrest of a University Hospital nurse plan to appeal . . .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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