Dash and body camera recordings have changed policing and criminal prosecutions. The recordings can resolve credibility contests between officers and the public, while also creating new legal issues and evidentiary questions. Beginning December 15, 2016, the City of Fairfax police department will equip all patrol and motor officers with body cameras. Video of police incidents will be stored on a cloud-based server, where officers will have read-only access.
What does this mean for you? In all traffic and criminal matters, case preparation should include issuing a written request and/or subpoena to law enforcement for any dash and body camera footage. The same should be issued to county 911 call centers, the Virginia Department of Transportation and local businesses to obtain any audio and video recordings of your incident. At the very least, a letter should be sent to the proper government agency immediately after an incident to ensure that relevant recordings are preserved in case of future prosecution.