Atlanta Debates When To Release Police Shooting Footage | WABE 90.1 FM

Atlanta Debates When To Release Police Shooting Footage

Mar 10, 2017

The city of Atlanta is  considering requiring police to release any videos of officer-involved shootings.

But a city council work session Thursday showed there’s disagreement over one key detail: how soon after the incident the police should make the video public.

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Activists want recordings released within seven business days.

“What grass roots community organizations want for council to think about is the moral imperative associated with releasing information,” Tiffany Roberts, of Black Lives Matter Atlanta, said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which handles Atlanta’s officer-involved shootings, said it prefers to wait until witnesses have been interviewed — and that might take longer.

“We don’t want to release video immediately and then have it impact upon the thoroughness of the investigation,” GBI Director Vernon Keenan said.

Meanwhile, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said the decision of when to put out the video should be up to him.

“And that is because the prosecutor has the ultimate responsibility whether to go forward with a case,” Howard said

Howard said he’s planning to meet with the GBI and the Atlanta police to come up with a protocol that suits all of them. Though, he expects that could take several months.

The city council recently faced pressure over the fatal police shooting of DeAundre Phillips. The GBI released video of that incident a month later.