The truth is we are NOWHERE, and that status hasn’t changed since the cameras were purchased by the City clear back in September of 2013. The WHY is simple! First and Foremost, because of the Guild Contract negotiated by Mayor Condon and Frank Straub then approved by the City Council that gives control of body cameras to the police unions. Secondly, because there is NO State LAW covering the use of body cameras.
Each and every time we have another Officer Involved Shooting the same question comes up, “Was there body camera footage?”, that is evidenced in Rachel Alexander’s November 9, 2015 SR story regarding the latest OIS. Rachael’s response to a question posed by Chairman of the SR Comment Board Andrew Scheldt (Sled) is very telling, unfortunately she really doesn’t know what the Status of Body Cameras is with SPD or the SCSO for that matter. In her defense the Spokesman Review is at an all-time low from the standpoint of staffing and financial backing from the Cowles family. In that story you can find some interesting comments including those of Andrew and Sheila Chase (Shelalal) both of whom are radical liberals and very, very anti-law enforcement, both have told some real whoopers about their background and experience in their SR Comments Section. I will deal with both and provide specifics, including public documents when I return from a trip my wife has planned.
What I find surprising regarding Rachael’s response to Andrew Scheldt is that she linked her May 10, 2015 story regarding body cameras, where, in the comments section I provided facts and detail regarding body cameras, as well as the truth about Frank Straub. What has transpired between May and November clearly shows what I said then was right on the money. If you read my comments in the link below (Hurray the SR will likely delete them) you will note, I criticize the SR coverage which I did a lot of prior to being “Banned” and is the true reason the SR does not want me to comment on Andrew and Sheila’s personal blog.
Another interesting aspect of the May article and my comments is it was one of the many times I pointed out the truth about Frank Straub, which was ignored by most including the SR for some reason. As a matter of FACT, there were many people in the Journalism Community both in Spokane and Indianapolis that knew the facts and truth regarding Frank Straub. My wiretaps and bugs which are strategically placed all over Spokane revealed that Addy Hatch, who by the way, is the one that sent me a very funny “Banning” email, was provided considerable negative documentation regarding Straub in an email that has been somewhat widely circulated and passed around, she received the email in 2013 and it included a strong suggestion to do an extensive story on Straub to inform the public. Her answer was that she had assigned it to Jonathan Brunt who would do the story when he returned from maternity leave. I DID NOT PROVIDE HER THE DOCUMENTATION, other individuals did, and of course the story never ran. It is impossible for Addy Hatch to honestly deny what I have just stated there are far too many witnesses and an extensive paper trail. The big question is if Addy Hatch and the SR informed the public, as is their job would people have taken notice and would we be in the mess we are in today? So does anyone wonder why the SR and Addy Hatch are so afraid of my comments?
I could go into significant detail with respect to problems associated with body cameras and the fraud perpetrated on the Spokane Community but instead I will just list the top 10 questions Rachel needs to get the answers to as I tried to point out in the Andrew and Shelia Comments Section of the SR under the persona “Oliver McMichael”, before they were deleted.
- Where do the negotiations stand with the Police Guild and the Lieutenants and Captains Association regarding the use of body cameras?
- What is the likelihood body camera issues will have to be resolved in mediation by Jamie Siegel or later by the PERC as is outlined in the Union Contracts?
- Will the unions want more money to wear the body cameras resulting in an MOU similar to the one agreed to in order to entice Field Training Officers?
- Since the passage of a law covering body cameras failed in the legislature are you using the Attorney General’s Opinion as a guideline for the usage of body cameras?
- The original plan to purchase dash cams went by the wayside after the Use of Force Commission Report so would the City have been better off to purchase dash cams which have been widely used throughout the state for a long time and wait until a body camera law was passed which Frank Straub originally stated would be the best route?
- In his response to questions relating to body cameras the Attorney General Stated that is was NOT necessary to obtain the consent of police officers wearing body cameras absent a collective bargaining which, might affect whether police officers must consent to wearing or using body cameras, so was it premature to enter into a contract with the unions prior to a body camera law being passed?
- The Attorney General’s opinion makes it quite clear that unlike the dash cam law where police departments can withhold public disclosure of dash cam video, body camera video is subject to the Public Records Act so what problems have been associated with public disclosure and have there been any objections by police officers to public release of body cam video and will there be a problem with that in the future?
- Since Frank Straub and Tim Schwering publically stated that the results of the ASU study will impact SPD’s decision to go ahead with a body camera program, what elements of the study will be significant in making that decision?
- SPD has said time and again that because the requirements of the PRA apply to body camera video the costs of implementation are overwhelming and those costs are a consideration as far as full implementation is concerned, were those costs anticipated prior to the Taser International contract and exactly what have those costs been during the pilot program?
- The AG’s opinion points out the complexity of Washington State Privacy Laws especially as it relates to what constitutes a “private conversation” and makes it very clear with this statement in the opinion just how important the need to understand our State Privacy Laws actually is, so exactly what type and to what extent are SPD Officers trained in Washington State Privacy Laws?
“The Washington Privacy Act, RCW 9.73, provides greater protection for private conversations and communications than the United States and Washington Constitutions. The Privacy Act is considered one of the most restrictive privacy statutes in the nation. State v. Kipp, 179 Wn.2d 718, 725, 317 P.3d 1029 (2014); see also Clark, 129 Wn.2d at 224. The Privacy Act provides that no individual or public agency can intercept or record a private conversation without first obtaining the consent of all of the parties to the conversation, unless an exception applies. RCW 9.73.030(1)(b).”
Good Luck Rachael see what you can do. I can predict the answers for you, and hope you don’t take what you are told as gospel.