Early on Tuesday morning, 37-year old Alton Sterling was shot and killed by Baton Rouge police while responding to a call about a man brandishing a gun. So far, two cellphone videos have emerged, and police allegedly confiscated security camera footage from the Triple S Food Mart. Although the police were outfitted with body cameras, police spokesman Lieutenant Jonny Dunnam told reporters that the body camera footage “may not be as good as we hoped for. During the altercation those body cameras did come dislodged. But they stayed on and active in recording at that time. So there is audio and video from their body cameras.”
1.The body cameras used in a pilot program the Baton Rouge police was manufactured by L-3 Mobile-Vision, Inc from Rockaway, NJ.
2. The camera records up to 5 hours of HD video (1280 x 720, 30fps) and audio, and has a 72° field of view (roughly equivalent to a 28mm wide angle lens on a fullframe sensor).
3. In January 2016, Baton Rouge PD Chief Carl Dabadie told the Metro Council that his officers were having issues keeping the L-3 cameras attached to their uniforms. Thus the department was switching body camera vendors to TASER.
4. TASER spokesperson Steve Tuttle told KXAN that any body camera could fall off, but “This hasn’t been a significant issue for our cameras.” Tuttle pointed out that the Alton Sterling homicide “did NOT involve any of our Axon brand body cameras.”
5. The New York Daily News reports that Louisiana State Rep. Denise Marcelle said “she saw no evidence [the cops’] body cameras had come loose on the disturbing cellphone video of the shooting.”
6. Fabian Blache Jr., the executive director of the Louisiana Chief of Police and who serves on a state commission regarding body cameras said, “I don’t believe the officers intentionally took the cameras off.”
7. The use of body cameras by police is in its infancy and there is scant research to prove its efficacy in reducing use of force.