FOX8 investigates Greensboro police body camera policy, days after officer-involved shooting
GREENSBORO, N.C. — It was a chaotic scene in Greensboro Tuesday afternoon in the area of Battleground Avenue and Edney Ridge Road.
Police tried to pull over a white Acura witnesses identified Monday night after the shooting of a 16-year-old on Baker Avenue.
Corporal Dwayne Diaz had his body camera rolling while running after Courtney Baskins, who is a person of interest in the murder.
However, Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott said during a news conference Wednesday that the moment Cpl. Diaz fired his weapon the camera was off.
“When the shooting occurred, it was not. There is body camera video in and around this incident. This evolved extremely quickly,” Scott said.
In an 8-page manual it states, “it is the responsibility of the officer to periodically ensure that the body worn camera is still recording during the required activation.”
The policy goes on to say that once the camera is activated, officers will continue to record until the conclusion of their involvement in the event. In most situations that means when they leave the scene.
“The actual interaction between the two at the exact time of the shooting was not but there’s substantial videos that give us context in and around the stop and whatever occurred,” Scott said.
FOX8 asked Greensboro police Thursday, why did the camera suddenly stop recording?
A police department spokesperson told us it would be “premature to arrive at a finding as to why the camera was not recording while the investigation is ongoing.”
The spokesperson also went on to say that cameras likely have malfunctioned in the past, just like any other piece of technology.
We reached out to the company that makes the cameras, Axon, to see if they have any complaints on file.
We learned there are no recalls with the model Greensboro police use. The cameras got upgraded in 2016 and there’s only a one to two percent return rate because of the wear and tear on the device.
Policy states that officers can stop recording but before that happens an on-scene supervisor must give approval or fall under a list of special circumstances which do not appear to apply to the case on Battleground Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.
If a camera is stopped for any other reason, the officer has to state on camera why and then notify a supervisor he is deactivating it.
The Greensboro police declined our request for an interview but shared this statement:
“The body-worn camera footage is one of several tools we use in an investigation. Witness statements, forensic evidence, and recordings from other cameras are some examples of other tools we use when examining their circumstances of an event.”
The body camera footage is uploaded and saved for a period of time depending on the case.
Criminal investigations are saved for three years and so are vehicle stops and crashes with criminal charges.
When it comes to an administrative investigation, the footage is saved indefinitely.