What can you do as a civilian to memorialize your interaction with law enforcement? As of late, obviously with the advent of camera phones and video capabilities of our smart phones, we have seen a rash of cases where individuals have been able to actually memorialize by way of video footage their interaction with law enforcement. Obviously, that is a very critical and important type of evidence because it avoids all the discrepancies that might be present in a story told by an individual who interacts with the law enforcement officer and the law enforcement officer himself. With the availability of video footage, we, in some instances, erase altogether the need for the jury or third party trial to brush through or comb through some of the testimony in order to make a determination of who they believe because the video, in essence, speaks for itself.
At this point in time, we are advising our clients to make sure that, if, in fact, they are able to, they video tape either their own interaction with law enforcement or the interaction of other people with law enforcement that they believe is inappropriate; they should memorialize that interaction by way of the use of their electronic devices. Additionally, we are pressing the District of Columbia, the city council, and the current administration to make available police body cameras. In our opinion as a law firm, it only serves to protect the community, civilians who make contact with law enforcement officers, and, in some instances, it will actually protect law enforcement because it would preclude them from being the victim of false claims. Within your own ability to memorialize interaction with law enforcement, we are encouraging individuals – keeping safety in mind – to memorialize that as best as they can.