As I was saying two days ago, when dash cam videos first became available it quickly became a recurring pattern that the videos did not match the reports. Simply put, the accounts of “swaying” or “staggering” while walking just wasn’t there. And many of these cases would go away before a judge could see it. That was the last thing the state’s attorneys wanted to do — educate their judges that their officers would lie or exaggerate about a DUI arrest. How many times had I heard someone (usually a prosecutor) say something like “we know why a defendant would lie, but why would a cop risk his or her career over one case?” So it was “Nolle prosse” or “reckless driving” and the department needs its video back.
After a period of adjustment, it happened that one of two things would occur:
1. The officers would stop exaggerating and write their reports based upon what was on the video; or
2. They stopped video-recording.
Yes, police departments that had invested in “dash-cam” technology suddenly found that they didn’t need them after all.
Or suddenly the camera “broke” — and I put quotes on that word because, yes, I am very suspicious. In Chicago, cameras only started to get put into circulation after several “top cops” were busted for exaggerating DUI cases. Suddenly, the remaining top DUI officers were required to have video cameras installed in their squads. After a few months, the videos stopped coming. I asked one officer what happened to your videos? I thought your squad was set up for them? The response went something like this: “Funny, the City got us these cheap cameras and mine is broke already.” Hmmmm.
Or the officer forgot to “activate” the camera. You get the picture.
I see this happen anew each time a department invests in putting in dash cam technology.
More to come …
What do you think?