Releasing police body camera footage of a controversial shooting, Fresno’s police chief has got in the middle of a fierce debate about whether the public should have access to these videos, reports the Los Angeles Times. Law enforcement agencies across the nation are equipping their officers with body cameras in an effort to have a record of their interactions with the public. The trend picked up steam in the wake of the much-debated shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., two years ago. The Los Angeles Police Department plans to have most of its officers equipped with body cameras soon. Like many agencies, Los Angeles police do not plan to routinely release those videos to the public.
Fresno Chief Jerry Dyer said he decided to release the graphic videos of officers firing four gunshots into Dylan Noble, a white 19-year-old, because of the intense public interest in the shooting. Dyer acknowledged that the footage is “extremely disturbing” to watch, but he said he hoped it would clarify what led officers to stop Noble on June 25 and eventually open fire. “I anticipate that some of this video will answer many of the questions out there in this community,” Dyer said. “However, I believe this video is also going to raise questions in the minds of people, just as those questions exist in my mind as well.”