APD announced it is investigating reports of doctored lapel camera footage and is telling the City Council that they will be getting a hold of the federal prosecutors and cooperate “if necessary” when in fact they will not have a choice but to cooperate. What is at the heart of the allegations and which is the most serious is who ordered the erasing, altering or corruption of the lapel camera videos? The allegation by the former records custodian include that it was high ranking members of the APD command staff and the City Attorney’s office who ordered the erasing, alteration or withholding of evidence in civil cases filed over police officer involved shootings.
In the meantime, APD tells the City Council they are going to investigate, on their own, allegations that members of the department improperly erased, altered or corrupted video footage taken by the lapel cameras worn by officers. Our feckless Chief of Police Gordon Eden defends APD and discounts the allegations of the former records custodian by saying “We are not a television or movie production company”. Chief Eden, the City and APD do have their own production studio and they produce Duke City Blues and APD TV. The City Attorney tells the City Council “there has not been any evidence so far to substantiate these allegations”. How can there be when the investigation has not even started?
The City Council bought it hook, line and sinker commending APD for their efforts and saying the investigation by APD was appropriate. Councilors, NO it is not appropriate for APD to investigate itself when that investigation just may lead to high ranking members of the command staff, City Attorney’s office and perhaps even the Mayor’s office. The City Council did not stop to think that what APD command staff may be doing is trying to determine and identify exactly who at APD did the dirty work for them so that person can be discredited, disciplined or prosecuted. In other words, looking for a scapegoat to blame for this fiasco and perhaps cover up wrongdoing.