HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The City of Madison is standing behind its police department and the decision not to release body camera video to the public. That body camera video has been at the center of a community outcry for police transparency.
“I understand the public’s desire we want to know everything,” said District Attorney Rob Broussard.
For the first time since Dana Fletcher’s death on October 27 pictures from police body cameras reveal what Madison County Sheriff’s investigators called “irrefutable evidence,” officers acted in self-defense.
Community activist Frank Matthews said the still images aren’t enough for him. He’s called for police to be more upfront with their evidence from the beginning.
“We want to have it so we can convene our own community grand jury to review the video in its entirety,” said Matthews.
Instead, chief trial attorney Tim Gann ran through a PowerPoint presentation with a timeline of what happened, showing the situation escalated quickly.
“[Dana] instructs the Madison officer to shoot me right here in the 3rd eye,” said Gann. “He does that like 13 times.”
But Matthews wants to hear it for himself.
“Why, again, does the DA have to quote what was said,” said Matthews. “The time-lapse that it was said. Again. It’s still, say no more. Show the whole video.”
The City of Madison released its statement shortly after the DA’s presentation, backing the investigation, but also supporting the decision to not release body cam video stating: “Alabama law requires that cities preserve the confidentiality of all police department documents and recordings related to an incident.”
“We need to have these kind of videos saying this is indeed what happened,” said Matthews.
Another reason the city says it won’t release any body camera video or images to the public, attorneys for Fletcher’s family have said they intend to file a lawsuit in his death and that video will likely be evidence in that lawsuit.