Two veteran Austin, Tx. police homicide unit supervisors have told Police Chief Art Acevedo that his new rule allowing officers involved in shootings to review patrol car videotapes before speaking with detectives would change the quality of investigations and probably erode public trust, reports the Austin American-Statesman. “This new policy goes against the most basic, sound, established investigative principles,” said Jessica Robledo and Hector Reveles. Acevedo said he wanted to bolster the accuracy of officers’ statements by allowing them to see videos before speaking to investigators. Acevedo said he also wanted to keep investigations from slowing, which had happened when officers invoked their legal right not to talk to detectives until they saw the tapes.
George Vanderhule, president of the Austin Police Association, said the union supports the change. Some community groups that monitor police shooting inquiries, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, are concerned that officers might change their accounts of what happened to match the tapes.