APD Union wants change in lapel camera policy in wake of Rice verdict
Posted at: 09/27/2013 6:57 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Leaders of Albuquerque’s police officers union said the city should strongly consider a review of lapel camera policy after the acquittal of ex-officer Connor Rice.
Shaun Willoughby, vice president, said lapel camera video is helpful at times, but is not comprehensive.
“The video only captures a very small percentage of all of the dynamics in any force situation,” he said.
Willoughby said Rice’s case was overdramatized in the news. As a result, he believes people jumped to conclusions about Rice.
He also argued that lapel camera video only offers a two-dimensional view of what officers have to deal with in multi-dimensional situations.
"They're going through adrenaline, they get tunnel vision during threat scenarios, their mind and eye can only process so much information at a time,” Willoughby said.
He said he’s glad the jury on Rice’s case realized that a police officer’s testimony is just as significant as the video that records a portion of his or her actions.
Friday evening, protesters outside of Albuquerque Police Headquarters shouted at passersby and argued that Rice should not become a police officer once again. They were disappointed with Thursday’s verdict.
They also argued that lapel cameras can make or break a case for the average person.
"The authorities always like to say that you know video evidence of a criminal doing this and that contributed to an arrest, but then when it comes to video evidence of putting an officer into question, then all of a sudden video is bad,” Joel Gallegos said.
Mayor Berry’s spokesperson, along with a public information officer at APD headquarters, said lapel camera policies have not yet been discussed since Thursday’s verdict, but likely will.