Guest Opinion | The Chief’s Curse: Discretion on Releasing Bodycam Videos

first_img Top of the News 3 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Community News Opinion & Columnists Guest Opinion | The Chief’s Curse: Discretion on Releasing Bodycam Videos Opinion piece by SKIP HICKAMBOTTOM and DALE L. GRONEMEIER Published on Monday, May 16, 2016 | 10:44 am faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes More Cool Stuff The happenstance that cell phone cameras, security cameras, and police dashboard cameras record police shootings and other critical incidents of police-community interactions has been revolutionizing how shootings and other major incidents are perceived. Body-worn cameras are increasingly being deployed; they will more systematically record such incidents. Pasadena plans to begin deploying them at the end of this year.As Pasadena thinks through what its policies will be on body-worn cameras, one of the issues to be decided is public access to bodycam videos of police shootings and other critical incidents. Some say that release of such bodycam videos should be at the discretion of the Chief of Police. Although it may seem counter-intuitive that putting power to decide in the hands of the Chief is bad for him, doing so is probably a curse for the Chief. Giving the Police Chief discretion to decide whether or not to release video of police shootings would invite recurring public battles between the police union and its supporters who favor never releasing anything that might question police versions versus the public who seek transparency. Is it good public policy to put the Chief in the middle of repeated wrangling where he inevitably makes enemies of one side or the other depending on whichever way he rules? Is there a better way?The reason video should not be released immediately: insuring investigation integrityStrong policy reasons support delaying release of bodycam video to anyone other than investigators until the post-shooting investigations are completed. The California Supreme Court rejected the Pasadena Police Officers Association contention that officers should be able to see other witness statements before giving their own statements to investigators. In 1990, the PPOA took the issue all the way to the Supreme Court when the Pasadena PD refused to give them that right. In ruling against the PPOA, the Supreme Court stated: “Disclosure before interrogation might color the recollection of the person to be questioned or lead that person to conform his or her version of an event to that given by witnesses already questioned.”The same issues – (1) coloring witness recollection and (2) allowing witnesses to conform their version of events to other evidence – that the Supreme Court noted as applying to witness statements apply with even greater force to video of police shootings and other critical events. Behavioral studies consistently show that exposure to visual evidence is much more powerful in altering witness recollection than mere words; exposure to video thus is more likely to alter pure recollection of witnesses even more significantly than witness statements. For a witness whose self-interest or bias might lead him to fabricate a false version of events, allowing him to view the video before he gives his statement tends to aid him in fabricating a version of events that cannot be impeached by the visual evidence.Thus, public release of bodycam video prior to the completion of both the criminal investigation and the follow-up administrative investigation would be bad policy. In order to insure the integrity of investigations, public release of bodycam video should not occur until the completion of the criminal and administrative investigations.Avoiding the Chief’s curse of discretion: release after a specific number of daysPasadena’s experience for nearly 4 years with the OIR Group Report on the Pasadena PD’s shooting of Kendrec McDade should be an object lesson in why giving the Police Chief discretion on release of body cameras is bad policy. Release of the OIR Group Report was a discretionary decision; the City was not required to release the Report but the public pressure to do so was ultimately overwhelming. Mayor Bogaard, then-Councilmember Chris Holden, the City Manager, and the Police Chief collectively sought to defuse widespread concern about the PD shooting the unarmed African-American youth by their publicly promising transparency on the OIR Group Report at the time the OIR Group was hired in 2012. The City Manager then got a black eye by saying in summer 2014 that only the OIR Group’s recommendation, not the full Report, would be released. To the dismay of the PPOA, the public outcry over the City Manager’s backtracking led the City Council to override the City Manager by supporting release of the Report to the maximum extent permitted by law. So the City Attorney invited the PPOA to sue; the PPOA dutifully sued, lost in the trial court, appealed, and lost even more drastically in the Court of Appeal. Throughout the nearly 4-year ordeal, the Pasadena PD administration, the Pasadena City Council, and the Pasadena City Attorney were caught in the middle and buffeted by the conflicting demands of the PPOA vs. the public. However, ultimately the public demand for transparency prevailed both politically and legally. No one should wish the PD administration to be put in the middle again on bodycam video release like it was put in the middle on the OIR Group McDade Report.If the Chief has discretion on whether to release bodycam video, he will inherently be in the position of being pressured by the PPOA to use that discretion to deny disclosure of the videos, by the public to release them, and thereby having to disappoint one side. We suggest that in the court of public opinion, the demand for transparency in police shootings and other critical incidents will usually prevail and the police chief will consequently usually have to exercise whatever discretion he has to release bodycam videos. Putting the Chief in a position where he has to repeatedly say no to the PPOA is not good for the Chief. More fundamentally, automatic release of bodycam videos for all critical incidents best serves the public interest in transparency that builds trust with the police department.Hayward Assemblyman Bill Quirk threaded the needle between premature public release and the inevitability and desirability of public release by a bill that would have required release of bodycam video after 60 days where there are complaints about officer conduct. That bill would have preempted any contrary policy provision by Pasadena, but it appears it is going nowhere because of police union opposition.We believe Assemblyman Quirk’s basic idea of automatic public release by a date certain is the approach Pasadena should adopt. We’re not certain whether 60 days is the reasonable time to require the completion of both the criminal and administrative investigations. The McDade administrative review meeting did not occur for more than a year after the shooting, but that was an unreasonably long time; the delay appears to have been driven by the objective to run out the clock so that the OIR Group Report could not be released prior to the trial of the wrongful death lawsuit by McDade’s parents. But whether the date-certain is 60 days, 90 days, or 120 days, automatic release of bodycam video for critical incidents is a better policy than visiting on the police chief the curse of his having discretion over whether or not to release the videos.Skip Hickambottom and Dale Gronemeier are local civil rights attorneys who successfully prosecuted the Public Records Act lawsuit to release most of the OIR Group Report on the McDade shooting. Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Subscribe Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.center_img Your email address will not be published. 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Year in Review: Technology accelerates industry’s evolution

first_img Related Articles Submit Share VBET agrees Armenian Premier League and Armenian Cup sponsorship August 13, 2020 It was a year of firsts for operators, as technological advances provided a platform for innovation to improve the overall betting experience.The year saw the creation of new betting platforms, the introduction of cryptocurrencies and blockchains as well as the development of instant withdrawal capacities for Irish bookmakers. For the first time, FIFA rolled out the tournament-wide use if video assistant referees (VAR) at this summer’s Russia World Cup. The technology was designed to aid match officials in making what could potentially be match-changing decisions. Dedicated off-side cameras were put in place, and a carefully selected VAR team watched cameras around the clock to ensure match fairness. It was also introduced by the Football Association (FA) to primarily spot major mistakes that occur during the match, this includes key offside calls which are judged wrongly. Following its trial, the FA has confirmed that VAR will be fully implemented in the Premier League next season. Sky Bet aimed to utilise new technology to elevate social betting, back in July, when the operator announced the launch of its new feature ‘Group Betting’ which allowed its customers to form ‘community accumulators’ . The new feature meant that ‘a group of friends to create a Group in which they build a Group Bet (Accumulator) by each member of the group making one selection each’.Andy Evans, Principal Product Manager, Sky Bet said that: “The idea of Group Bets came through the internal CoLab project that we ran earlier this year. We then tested it with customers and found that a large number were already doing this with their friends either physically when together or digitally through messenger apps etc. “Essentially we’ve taken a behaviour that already exists and created an experience that satisfies users’ needs and simplifies that activity for them. We’re still in a Beta phase, but the aim is see how customers respond to what we’ve done so far and see what it is that interests them most.”The announcement was a first for betting operators, giving customers the chance to modify market selections once the betslip has been transferred to a personal account. It has proven to increase sociability, and the feature has considerable room for expansion which will give punters the opportunity to potentially interact via betting groups further in the future. It is expected that betting operators will follow suit with a similar feature in the near future.Meanwhile in December, Boylesports also claimed an Irish first with the launch of ‘Same Day Withdrawals’ capabilities, becoming Ireland’s first bookmaker to process instant e-payments transactions. Aoife Heffron, Spokesperson for Boylesports commented: “Our customers asked, and we have listened! We are thrilled to announce that our industry-leading Same Day Withdrawals feature is now live ad available to all BoyleSports customers. “Our brand new instant-pay-out option allows customers to withdraw their winnings with the click of a button and have it in their account the same day with most transactions only taking a couple of hours.”Previously, customers were forced to wait for the industry standard of two to three working days to withdraw into their bank balance. The new withdrawal option now operates 24/7, 365 days a year and was a means of trying to enhance customer service for the Irish bookmaker – a considerable leap forward compared to waiting for cash withdrawals. BetConstruct explored the use of blockchains in betting back in November, after launching its first all-in-one fully decentralised and Ethereum based blockchain solution, Fasttoken. The platform provides “100% transparency, security and fairness to all involved parties – players, game providers, operators and affiliates”.The solution was designed to minimise transaction costs, eliminate latency and lag inside of a gaming session, and to boost scalability by moving the actual gaming process of the main chain. The technological advances mean that customers are able to audit every move made in their gaming session to assess fairness, while enjoying multiple games simultaneously. Blockchain usage in sports betting means that payment methods are simplified down to directing funds from your digital wallet to place a sports bet digitally, and then receiving payouts back into your digital wallet.It is a positive move for operators as it improves transparency across the betting industry, as the decentralised technology offers a type of digital transparency between betting platforms that had previously not existed.“Trust takes years to build up, and seconds to lose. That is why today we are building the casino of the future. By applying blockchain solutions in gambling, we deliver an exclusive chance to enjoy wagering without the sine qua non of the trust factor,” said Vigen Badalyan, BetConstruct Founder and CEO.He added: “As a result of more than 15 years of experience in the igaming industry and our work, we have gained hundreds of loyal partners, many of whom are already preparing to recognize Fasttoken as their cryptocurrency.” StumbleUpon Share BoyleSports signs Coventry City sponsorship August 21, 2020 PokerStars moves to refresh global appeal with ‘I’M IN’ August 18, 2020last_img read more

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Boxing: Golovkin retains crown

first_imgWorld Boxing Association middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin stopped Mexico’s Marco Antonio Rubio in the second round Saturday to keep his title, taking his 18th consecutive knockout triumph in emphatic fashion, AFP reports.The unbeaten 32-year-old from Kazakhstan, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist, improved to 31-0 with 28 knockouts, the latest coming 79 seconds into the second round and extending a streak of victories inside the distance that began in 2008.“I loved this fight,” Golovkin said. “I don’t like dancing. I like to fight. This was a true fight. He didn’t step back.”Golovkin, defending his world title for a 12th time, landed an uppercut to stun Rubio and finished off the fight with a powerful overhand left. Rubio tried to rise but referee Jack Reiss counted him out before he made it back onto his feet.Golovkin could be looking at a unification showdown against the winner of an expected fight between World Boxing Council champion Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.last_img read more

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