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police video cameras

From: Nancy D. Wagner <"Nancy>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:06:56 -0800


I live around the corner from where Menlo Park police shot and killed a burglary suspect recently. The police claim that they fired a taster first and then the suspect pulled out a gun - and only then the did the three officers discharge their weapons in a residential area, killing the suspect.

When I first heard the news accounts and talked to my neighbors - some who were at home and heard the gunshots - I thought, well itís a good thing that Menlo Park Police are wearing video cameras on their uniforms and clearly we can trust their account of the incident because there will be a video to verify the facts.

Last year, the Mercury News reported on the $65,000 cameras and included a statement from the Menlo Park police:
ďPolice Cmdr. Dave Bertini said Friday that video taken with the cameras could be used as evidence of a crime, as well a defense against false complaints of misconduct.

"There's no situation of 'he said, she said.' There's a video of every situation," Bertini said. "To me, it's 100 percent risk management."

No one is claiming that there was any officer misconduct in this instance - other than failing to turn on the video cameras.

I can think of no excuse for not turning on their cameras when responding to a burglary in process. Anything the officers say about the incident is now even more suspect than if they hadnít been issued the cameras. A very disturbing situation for all involved and for the community here in Menlo Park.

I urge the City to evaluate how and when these cameras need to be activated.

Nancy Wagner
Menlo Park
Received on Wed Nov 19 2014 - 14:01:38 PST

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