VIDEO: Family Calls for Video Release

By Calibre Press  |   Apr 7, 2015

The family of Lavalle Hall, a 25-year-old mentally challenged man killed by police in Miami Gardens, Fla., has called for the immediate public release of the dashcam video, which the family and their lawyers have seen.

Glen Goldberg, at attorney for the family, says: “The video is shocking, it’s dramatic.”

On February 15, Hall’s mother called police for help in controlling her son, who was having “an episode.” Hall, one week out of a mental hospital, allegedly attacked officers with a broom handle. Both officers deployed Tasers. When the Tasers failed to subdue him, one of the officers shot and killed the man.

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Across the U.S. agencies are grappling with issues regarding when and to whom video footage captured by officers should be released. The issue it thorny. While some call for greater transparency and leniency in the release of video, almost everyone concedes that there are exceptions to be weighed: when minors are present, in private homes, when nudity or wanton violence are depicted, during on-going investigations, when doing so would compromise to the identity of covert officers, and so forth.

In brief: Who has the right to determine what is seen and what is not?

Needless to say this question will rage for the coming duration. In the case of Halls shooting, the family and their attorney seem to believe that the videos release to the public will bolster their case against the city and the two officers involved.

In a letter addressed to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Goldberg states the family wishes to release the tape to the media. Video should be released, he contends, when meeting the following criteria:

1. If it provides for public scrutiny of governmental action.

2. If the family has no objection to it being released because they are waiving their right to privacy.

3. The availability of similar information on other public records, regardless of form, is not available and does not corroborate the Police Department’s publicly stated versions of the events.

“We have asked that this be done by 9 o’clock tomorrow morning,” said Goldberg. “If it’s not done or they do not agree to allow us to release the video, we intend on going to the court and asking the judge to order us to allow the video to be released so that the different medias can see this.”

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