Springfield, MA, DA Releases OIS Final Report and Files 12 Days After Incident.
Updated: Apr 10
It took only 12 days for Hampden County DA, Anthony Gulluni, to officially rule that Officer Falcon's use of deadly force was lawful and that no criminal charges would be filed (see story). Another example of the value of BWCs in policing. But what is truly extraordinary is the timeliness of the investigation and the access given the public to the investigative materials (see ShareFile site) .
A coupe of takeaways from watching the video:
Policy should clearly state when BWCs must be activated. I strongly recommend activation at time of dispatch or call initiation if the BWC system does not have an auto-activation capability.
Placement of the BWC on officers' uniforms is critical. This should be specifically directed in policy. Discretion by officers on BWC placement can result in recordings that may not capture the desired perspective.
Agencies must have a well thought out plan for handling BWCs in the immediate aftermath of an OIS. In today's policing environment, no other piece of evidence is as critical as a BWC recording of an OIS. When is the camera deactivated after an OIS, when and who takes custody of the camera, when and who gets to access the video, and what happens to the recordings after uploading, are all absolute imperatives for policy.
Officers must be reminded that anything they, or other officers, say is being recorded until the camera is deactivated in accordance with policy. They must be mindful of their spontaneous remarks in the immediate aftermath of an OIS and their responses to well-intended questions by fellow officers or supervisors.