They could if the officer turned off his or her body camera so that they were able to engage in an act of misconduct and wouldn’t be recognized for doing so.
Officers who are required to wear body cameras while on duty are responsible for turning their devices on when they accept a call. Body cameras not only record the interaction between an officer and a civilian, but they also help identify those who abuse their power and engage in inappropriate behavior. Although many of the police departments located throughout the state of Florida require officers to wear and utilize their body cameras according to policy, some choose to violate the rules and turn them off when it is beneficial for them to do so.
In other words, there are officers of the law who will turn their body cameras off when they know they are going to be partaking in criminal activity, violating a civilian’s rights, or both.
Two Tampa Police Officers Relieved of Their Duties After Internal Affairs Investigation Reveals They Occasionally Turned Off Their Body Cameras
Two Tampa police officers were placed under investigation after a complaint was filed against them by a man they arrested back in 2018. The citizen claimed Officer Mark Landry and Officer John Laratta threatened him with physical violence and after the Internal Affairs department began conducting an investigation, they came across some disturbing evidence [Source: Fox 13]. According to the news source, Laratta not only turned off his body camera three minutes into his interaction with the man, which is a violation of the Tampa Police Department’s policy, but it was discovered he had done the same thing during other “special calls.”
To make matters worse for the officers, the investigation also revealed that Laratta and Landry were disposing drugs during drug stops and failing to document it according to TPD’s policy. Although Laratta and his partner allegedly took a drug test to determine if they had been confiscating the drugs for themselves, they did pass the test which resulted in those accusations being dropped. Unfortunately, there are plenty of officers employed in Florida who engage in behavior that is deemed inappropriate and even illegal which often results in individuals being injured, harmed, falsely arrested, or even killed.
Did a Tampa, FL police officer turn their body camera off so they could harass, mistreat, or harm you or a loved one?
If you answered yes, then perhaps you should contact a Tampa, FL police brutality attorney who can assist you with filing a complaint against the officer(s). When a complaint is properly filed with supporting evidence, the Internal Affairs department will conduct an investigation to determine if your complaint is a legitimate one and what form of disciplinary action should be taken given it is. Now, it is important that you speak with an attorney first as you may even have grounds to file a lawsuit and recover damages for the pain and suffering you endured as a result of your encounter with the officer.
If you would like to discuss the inappropriate or illegal behavior you witnessed being displayed by a Tampa, FL police officer, contact Larson Johnson, PL today at 813-228-6688.
You can reach Larson Johnson, PL at:
2011 West Cleveland Street
Tampa, Florida 33606