Case Got Your Tongue? Arrest, Lies & Videotape

J0407481 Hat tip to my colleague William Hoffman…

I thought I wasn't going to find anything relevant for my usual Friday post, but Peschel v. City of Missoula, 2009 WL 3364460 (D. Mont. Oct. 15, 2009) has it all; alleged crimes, police brutality and missing video from a police cruiser.  I'm pressed for time, so I ported you over to K&L Gates for a look at the details, but here are Mr. Hoffman's comments:

"Finding
that a video of Peschel’s arrest was lost as a result of the city’s
recklessness, the court granted defendant’s motion for sanctions and
“designat[ed], for purposes of the case, that the arresting officers used
unreasonable force to effect the arrest of [defendant].”  What struck me
was the failure of the city to back up the data on its computer (particularly
the video) was determined to be reckless, thus paving the way for severe
sanctions."

From the case itself:

“The department failed to have any type of
back-up system in place to ensure the preservation of the video recordings. In
view of the importance of the video recordings, it went beyond mere negligence
for the department not to have adequate safeguards in place for protection of
the recordings.”

Have a good weekend.

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