New policy for release of video in police shootings

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — It’s being hailed as a big step forward in policing and building community trust.

On Tuesday, the County District Attorney joined leaders of half a dozen police agencies to unveil a new protocol on the release of video in officer involved shootings.

The news conference was planned well in advance of last week’s shootings of two San Diego police officers.

Law enforcement officials said this comprehensive policy that takes effect immediately will boost the public’s understanding of what happens in police work and help to improve trust and transparency.

In the age of body worn cameras, dashboard cameras, surveillance and cell phone videos, San Diego’s law enforcement officials said these videos should be released.

Members of a larger association of police chiefs and sheriff’s have crafted a formal policy for the release of videos linked to officer involved shootings.

The priority is to get them into the public eye as soon as possible.

But there are a few conditions. First the DA must finish its review of the shooting and second, if there are criminal charges involved, the DA would keep the evidence under wraps until it comes out at trial.

The new policy strives for a balance between keeping the public informed and preserving the legal rights of those who were involved.

In last week’s deadly shooting in Southcrest, which took the life of Officer Jonathan DeGuzman, the surviving Officer Wade Irwin was able to turn on his bodyworn camera, even though he had been shot in the throat.

That video is part of an ongoing investigation. The DA says it won’t be released while there’s a pending criminal case against the suspected gunman.

Categories: Local San Diego News