VIDEO: The Usefulness of Bodycams

By Calibre Press  |   Apr 28, 2015

The father of Colin Spradling, who was shot and killed by police in 2008 is refiling his lawsuit against the police department, alleging fraudulent concealment on behalf of the department to hide the truth of what led to his son’s death.

This dashcam video was released as part of the lawsuit.

The bullet points of the story from KARK:
  • Officers were at the Hatfield home following up on a complaint by a woman who said Spradling had burglarized her home, stealing a gun in the process.
  • According to police and the Hatfields, Spradling walked out the back door where police officers were waiting. He was told to put his hands behind his back, and both Christina and Rachael Hatfield reported the officer told Spradling he knew why they were there.
  • According to the Hatfields, Spradling then rolled his right shoulder forward, as if resisting arrest, and that’s when officers took him to the ground.
  • Officers claimed Spradling reached for a gun during the struggle.
  • According to Paul Hatfield, during a later deposition, he never saw Spradling with a gun that day, but had seen he had a gun the day before.
  • According to Rachael, he never retrieved it. According to Christina’s and Rachael’s testimony during depositions, neither of them ever saw a gun on or near Spradling at the time of the shooting or after.

Bottom line: Body-worn cameras would have potentially shown whether Spradling did or did not have a gun. If the video evidence showed the presence of a gun, the police and this family would have little reason to enter into a lawsuit, and we see once again that bodycams have many uses beyond judging a use-of-force incident.

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