Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Hey, DeputyDave, check out Austin, Texas

Old 08-19-05, 10:22 AM
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Hey, DeputyDave, check out Austin, Texas

August 13, 2005 (News in Texas)

08/12/05

New Policy For Austin Police Cars

http://www.kxan.com/global/story.asp?s=3717553
Some Austin Police officers are no longer allowed to chase the bad guys. A
new change will affect police enforcement across the city.

If it's not caught on tape, Austin Police can't pull you over.

KXAN News 36 has learned starting immediately, officers without cameras in
their police cars are no longer allowed to make traffic stops
.

Not only will officers without cameras in their car lose their authority to
pull over traffic violators like drivers speeding down I-35, but those
officers may also lose something else.

"To be safe, what we said was if you don't have a camera in your car, until
we can get this done, don't make stops," APD Assistant Chief Rick Coy said.

To make sure that doesn't happen, those officers may no longer have
emergency lights on their police car.


There are only certain police cars that don't have cameras. Those units
belong to officers assigned to special units like hostage negotiators.

"They don't make traffic stops routinely but in case they were to, we would
not have that captured on video," Coy said.

"Fine. If that's the case, let's put cameras in the car. We've called for
cameras once. We'll calling for them again," Austin Police Association
President Mike Sheffield said.

Sheffield says it makes more sense to add cameras to the police cars, not
to take away their emergency lights.

"We have a policy that is so restrictive, we're taking the emergency lights
out of these vehicles so we can make certain that someone doesn't make a
stop cause we don't have a camera in that unit," Sheffield said.

Coy says this is only an effort to make sure all traffic stops are recorded.

"We don't want to go overboard on this but we want to do what's right," Coy
said.

Sheffield says it's sending the wrong message to certain officers.

"I'm not in a car that has a camera so unless I see something that is
absolutely an emergency situation, I don't get involved because I don't
have a camera in my car. That thinking is de-policing," Sheffield said.

Officers in a car without a camera can initiate a stop only if it is an
emergency, but Sheffield says that's open to interpretation and asks if you
want officers second guessing themselves about that because they're afraid
of violating the new policy.

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Old 08-19-05, 10:31 AM
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This is simply a CYA move. With all the recent Taserings, the city doesn't want to have to pay out a bunch of money to some thug who gets tasered or has some other force used against.

I think in the very near future, when fuel cells become a viable technology, officers will have micro cameras somewhere on their uniform coupled with wi-fi to send the signal back to the car for recording. This will allow to record everything so when situations arrise where there is doubt about use of force, this recording will be reviewed.
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Old 08-19-05, 11:24 AM
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so does this equate to more speeding for me?
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Old 08-19-05, 11:29 AM
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Given DeputyDave's bowel issues, he should probably check out Beaumont instead.
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Old 08-19-05, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
This is simply a CYA move. With all the recent Taserings, the city doesn't want to have to pay out a bunch of money to some thug who gets tasered or has some other force used against.

I think in the very near future, when fuel cells become a viable technology, officers will have micro cameras somewhere on their uniform coupled with wi-fi to send the signal back to the car for recording. This will allow to record everything so when situations arrise where there is doubt about use of force, this recording will be reviewed.

Agreed.
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Old 08-19-05, 11:54 AM
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Travis County Medical Examiner Roberto Bayardo said Thursday that he agrees with an expert who analyzed the positions of an Austin police officer and the man she fatally shot and concluded the man was not lying face-down when the officer fired.

Bayardo had said in an e-mail earlier this week to the Rev. Sterling Lands, pastor of Greater Calvary Baptist Church, that his findings were consistent with those of witnesses. In his e-mail, Lands said some witnesses reported seeing officer Julie Schroeder grab Daniel Rocha from the sport-utility vehicle he was riding in and throw him to the ground.

They said they heard Schroeder yelling at Rocha to lay down and then heard a shot. Rocha died from one shot in the back.

"I wonder why the grand jury never called me," Bayardo replied to Lands, according to the e-mail. "My opinion agrees with the ones from the witnesses."

On Thursday, Bayardo said he had not read the report by the expert, Tom Bevel of Norman, Okla., when he wrote Lands.

He also said he is no longer bothered that the grand jury did not call him. Bayardo, who met Thursday morning with officials from the Travis County district attorney's office to discuss the issue, said his testimony probably wasn't needed because he and Bevel shared opinions.

Lands, who has been critical of the medical examiner's office in recent months, said Bayardo has given him another reason to distrust the agency.

"I don't have very much faith in anything that comes out of that office," Lands said.

Bayardo had initially said after the June 9 shooting that Rocha did not show signs of a struggle, except for a small scratch on his chest. He said several days later that he had not noticed several bruises and scrapes.

Bayardo also said that Rocha tested negative for drugs. But after a more comprehensive blood test, he amended that report to say that Rocha had marijuana in his system.

According to Bevel's report, the probable body positions for Rocha include being down on one or both knees and bent over at the waist. Probable body positions for Schroeder include standing or kneeling to the left front side of Rocha.

He said that Rocha lying face down on the ground with the shooter standing was "highly improbable."

Bevel said his opinion is based on a review of 24 videotapes, 785 photographs and 801 pages of investigative reports and diagrams.

"He came to the same conclusion that I did," Bayardo said.

Assistant District Attorney Claire Dawson-Brown said the grand jury did not ask Bayardo to speak to them because the autopsy report met their needs.

"An ME is not an expert on where the shooter was and where the deceased was," she said. "He can tell the path of travel in the body, but beyond that, he is not an expert."

"There were no issues in the ME's report that needed clarification, or the grand jury would have asked for them," Dawson-Brown said.
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Old 08-19-05, 11:59 AM
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I think the above case is the reason this has come about. The Cop had a camera but it did not have film in it.
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