GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The Greensboro Police Officer’s Association penned a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper to advocate for the “timely, complete and unedited release” of body camera footage.
GPOA President Cody St. Pierre addressed the letter, dated Wednesday, to the governor and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson.
“I write this letter to you to express the GPOA’s consistent and unwavering support for the timely, complete and unedited release of Body Worn Camera (“BWC”) footage, and to seek the support of North Carolina’s Governor and Lt. Governor for our position.”
The letter was sent as a judge considered the release of body camera footage in the case of Andrew Brown Jr., the man shot and killed by law enforcement last week in Elizabeth City. Brown’s family saw a 20-second clip from one bodycam on Tuesday.
The association emphasized that it expects officers to treat all members of the public equally, but there could be what the GPOA describes as a “bad apple.”
“To be clear, GPOA representatives have been working with our State legislators for several years to change the current legislation related to the release of BWC footage. For example, current State law imposes too many obstacles and delays to a timely release of such footage.”
The GPOA said that there is a dangerous trend to “rush to judgment and immediate vilification of police officers based on inaccuracies, speculation, rumor, politics and social media rants.” The association says the timely release of body camera video would help curb suspicion and controversy.
“We know for a fact that, here in Greensboro, such release has proven that our officers have acted appropriately, consistent with their training and experience and consistent with North Carolina law,” the GPOA said. “If, however, a critical incident occurs and one or more of our members does NOT act appropriately, we want that BWC footage timely released in the same fashion, regardless of what it shows.”