BR police chief says officer's body cam was off during recent shooting incident at traffic stop
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul has released a statement in regards to public outcry to release body cam footage in a recent incident where an officer was reportedly shot at by a suspect during a traffic stop.
The incident occurred back on August 7, and Raheem Howard was arrested for allegedly firing shots at Officer Yuseff Hamadeh during a traffic stop.
Chief Paul says the police department intends to adhere to their recently updated policy about releasing footage of officer involved incidents to the public. The chief says two independent investigations are currently underway: a criminal investigation by BRPD detectives and an administrative investigation by BRPD's Internal Affairs Division.
BRPD says neither the officer's body cam nor the front-facing dash cam in the officer's vehicle were turned on during the incident. The rear-facing camera was on, police say, but it was facing downward, so it did not capture any relevant footage. Police go on to say there is audio from the rear-facing camera in the police unit, which is currently being analyzed by investigators. Police are also reviewing footage provided by a witness to the traffic stop.
Chief Paul says:
In certain instances the release of critical incident evidence, absent a thorough examination of the evidence, could compromise investigative efforts. We will release the footage in question at the appropriate time once we determine that releasing the critical incident video evidence is in the public's best interest.
As your Chief, I wholeheartedly believe in transparency. I have worked hard to gain the public's trust since I took the oath of office in January of this year. I want to reassure the citizens of Baton Rouge that our Baton Rouge Police Officers are conducting a thorough investigation into this incident. We are asking for the public's patience in this matter as our Detectives and Internal Affairs Investigators work diligently to exhaust all investigative efforts to conclude these investigations. Thank you for your support in this matter.
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