Many police officers employed within the state of Florida are required to wear a body camera as they are expected to help “improve police services, increase accountability for individual interactions, enhance public safety, and capture [an] officer’s encounters and interactions with others” [Source: Miami-Dade County]. The Miami-Dade County website also suggests that when an officer is equipped with a body camera, there are fewer citizen complaints, less use of force incidents, and public trust in law enforcement is enhanced. While body cameras may have proven to be an effective way to view what happens during each and every call an officer is dispatched to, it doesn’t prevent them from engaging in acts of misconduct.
Body cameras have allowed the public to see first-hand what happens during many police encounters with civilians and suspects and has proven that despite an officer being aware that their actions and behavior is being recorded, they are still going to abuse their power and the authority they have over individuals. It is for this very reason that Dade County, FL police brutality attorneys will request that body cam footage be provided to them so they can utilize it as a resource when attempting to build a case against an officer of the law who has been accused of misconduct.
If you are the victim of police brutality and wish to speak with a police misconduct lawyer in Dade County, FL who will help you exercise your rights, USAttorneys.com is here to help you find an attorney in your city.
What does Florida law say in terms of when police body cam footage will be disclosed?
According to the Florida Department of State, a body camera recording, or a portion of the footage, is to be kept confidential if the recording is:
- Taken within the interior of a private residence.
- Is taken within a facility that provides health care, mental health care, or social services.
- Is taken in a place that a reasonable person would expect privacy.
Now, this doesn’t mean that a police brutality attorney won’t be able to gain access to the footage, especially if it reveals an officer of the law engaging in inappropriate acts, however, there may be a limit as to who can view it given one of the conditions mentioned above applies.
The Florida Department of State also stipulates that body cam footage, or a portion of the footage, may be disclosed to:
- An individual who was recorded by the body camera, however, the law enforcement agency may choose to only disclose the portion of the footage that is “relevant to the person’s presence in the recording.”
- A personal representative of an individual who was recorded by an officer’s body camera. Again, the agency may only wish to disclose the portion of the video that is relevant to the individual being represented.
- An individual who is not depicted in a body camera recording but whose residence is. The department may only choose to disclose the interior of the residence or dwelling belonging to that person.
- The Court when an order is issued.
Now, if you are the victim of police brutality and need help recognizing a Dade County, FL police officer for the harm they have inflicted upon you, whether it was during an arrest or a routine traffic stop, it is time you contact a local FL police brutality attorney. Not only will they help you obtain the body cam footage that will help prove the officer was, in fact, violating one or more laws or policies, but that they also violated your rights as a citizen. To speak with a lawyer in your area who has the skill and knowledge needed to hold an officer accountable for their inappropriate or unlawful behavior, contact USAttorneys.com today.