Memphis mayor says body cam video cannot be released if part of investigation

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Click on picture to see the full Fox13 report.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland told Memphis TV journalist Greg Coy that video footage from body cam video cannot be released if the event it records is under investigation.

The quote came during a story by Coy on the whether citizens will have access to video footage created by body cameras.

“By law, it can’t be revealed just like a paper document that is evidence. All evidence, whether it is a gun, whether it is a paper or whether it is video, if it is under investigation it cannot be released,” Mayor Strickland said.

From the story:

The city of Memphis is spending millions of dollars on a body and dash camera system in the name of transparency.

Much of the video that involves sensitive or questionable actions involving officers and citizens will be kept secret, according to a drafted policy we obtained from the Strickland Administration.

It reads “no record shall be released if it is relevant to a pending or contemplated law enforcement investigation or criminal prosecution, or is designated as confidential under Tennessee Public Records Act.”

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland told FOX13 the policy makes sense.

FOX13 asked the mayor about prior guarantees of transparency.

“There will be transparency. They will see the transparency,” Mayor Strickland assured FOX13.

Deborah Fisher said the only guarantees are the ones on paper.

“If we are going to spend millions of dollars across the state and collect millions of hours of footage of interaction between law enforcement and citizens, and then we are going to say that footage is not available for citizens that involves law enforcement, that is not transparency. That is not law enforcement accountability. That is surveillance,” Fisher told FOX13.

Read the full story, and watch the video: FOX13 Investigates: Transparency problems with body cam video.

 

 

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