A state representative in Louisiana says that the Baton Rouge police chief has informed her that neither police officer’s body camera was recording during the Alton Sterling shooting, and she says the reason he gave was that the body cameras both fell off.
The account came from State Rep. Denise Marcelle, a Democrat, as reported by msnewsnow.com.
Marcelle said she was told by Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie that “body cameras worn by both officers fell off during the incident and do not show the shooting,” the news site said.
However, Marcelle said the chief told her there is some camera footage from a squad car dashboard camera and a store surveillance camera.
Alton Sterling was shot to death in what police described as an altercation with two officers who responded to a convenience store after a report about a man with a gun, according to the statement released by the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Chief Dabadie spoke positively about body cameras in the media in March. The chief said the cameras had helped in recent investigations, including a shootout that wounded two officers and killed the shooter, according to the Daily Reveille. The Daily Reveille said a body camera in a Marksville, Louisiana shooting had shown that a man had his hands up when a shooting occurred after a car chase. The deputy marshals involved were indicted on second-degree murder charges, Daily Reveille said.
In January, according to the Advocate, the police department switched body camera type. Dabadie had said “officers were having trouble keeping the L-3 body cameras on their uniforms and that they had some technical glitches.” The city did not have enough money to put body cameras on each officer’s uniform, the news site said.
Dabadie took over the helm of the Baton Rouge Police Department after the previous Chief DeWayne White was terminated over what the mayor contended were improper hiring and transfer practices, among other allegations.
White had also made controversial comments on a radio program in which he said 10 percent of his force racially profiled African-Americans, what he labeled subconscious bias, according to Nola.com:
It’s become so ingrained in their mind that they believe that everybody they come across or most people they come across with that color of skin is probably a criminal.