Editorial: Don’t bury police video with those who die in custody

By American-Statesman Editorial Board
Austin American-Statesman
Originally published Jan. 10, 2019

Police video has the power to give an unbiased, unflinching view of what really happened — but it works only when the public is allowed to see it.

We’ve seen the benefits of police camera footage clearing up the circumstances of officer-involved shootings and allowing for scrutiny of high-profile arrests. Think of what dashboard camera footage meant for our understanding of the 2015 forceful arrest of elementary schoolteacher Breaion King and the 2016 fatal shooting of 17-year-old David Joseph.

But in other cases, a pernicious loophole in state law has allowed police agencies to refuse to release videos when a suspect dies in their custody — defying the very spirit of transparency and accountability such cameras were supposed to bring.

Read the full editorial here.