NewsLocal NewsMichael Dean: Search for Answers

Actions

Police dashcam/ bodycam video critical in court, but how are they regulated?

Posted at 11:07 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 12:18:53-05

More than six months after Michael Dean was shot and killed by a now former Temple police officer, video of their deadly confrontation has yet to be released.

Carmen Decruz has been charged with manslaughter.

Supporters of Michael Dean’s family has been asking the Temple Police Department for one thing.

"Release the footage. It's literally all anyone is asking for," said protestor Alicia Mitlyng.

Meanwhile the police department refuses to release the video to the public.

"No, I haven't seen none of that," said Michael Dean's brother when asked about if he'd received any video evidence.

Today, outside the Temple Police Department, a small but loud group of protesters demanded Temple PD release the full police video and give the Dean family closure.

"It's actual factual evidence. There's no hearsay. There's no way to deny anything. Everyone can see what happened with their own eyes," said Mitlyng.

In Texas, it's up to each police department to implement how dashcam and body cameras are regulated, including when the camera needs to be turned on or off and how accessible the footage is to the public.

"If they're really here to serve them, they will listen to the community and release that video footage," said civil rights attorney U.A. Lewis Esq.

Bodycam video is serving as evidence to hopefully bringing justice to a Sommerville man who ended up in the ICU after bodycam video showed he was shoved by police officer.

"Eventually the family should get it, but they shouldn't have to file a lawsuit to get it, that's the unfortunate part...it doesn't allow the family to heal and move forward," said Lewis.

The new Temple Police Chief Shawn Reynolds released this statement:

"Due to the pending prosecution in this case and the fact that the investigation was conducted by a third-party agency, it would be inappropriate for me to comment at this time.

The videos have previously been requested via the Public Information Act, and the Attorney General determined they should be withheld until final disposition of the pending criminal prosecution. The recordings would have to be requested again after the case is resolved.

TPD follows laws set by the Texas Public Information Act and the Texas Occupations Code when determining the release of such documents.

The Department strives to release accurate information in a timely manner. Sometimes, releasing certain information about a pending case could damage the case by alerting suspects, putting victims in danger or influencing a potential jury pool. TPD must keep these factors in consideration when releasing information before a final disposition has been delivered."