Officer involved shooting off Spring Loop (February 8, 2023)

55,275 Views | 266 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by agaberto
TellMeMore
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So when should body cam footage be released? CSPD seems to think never. What say you?
Brian Alg
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I just got the briefing in support of withholding the video in response to my ORR. Upshot is that they are saying "release of requested information at this time would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution."

Assuming the AG agrees. I don't know when the video's release stops being a problem. After the defense counsels get them? After the convictions associated with the investigations happen? Maybe the AG's response would say. If it does, I'll probably post the info here.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government and Moderator Restraint
Smeghead4761
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I do find it interesting that CSPD doesn't have any sort of policy for releasing video for what most departments call "critical incidents." It's become very common, especially with big city departments (which tend to have more such incidents.), but even some small departments do it. I recall reviewing one such video from Rapides Parish, LA, not too long ago.

The video would usually include a description of the incident, given by a chief or designated PAO, followed by things like 911 recordings, Dispatch radio recordings, and officer vehicle and/or video footage, and then usually something like "the incident is under investigation by the Texas Rangers."

HPD has a whole YouTube channel for critical incidents.
maroon barchetta
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Do they have the Harding Street raid on there?
Smeghead4761
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It doesn't look like it. I think the HPD Critical Incident YouTube channel is a post-Floyd thing.

The videos usually take a few days to release - they have to gather stuff like the 911 audio, and then go through and blur out vehicle license plates and people's faces.
CS78
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I get that there is an issue with people viewing these for entertainment. So why not release up to the point that the deceased was fired upon. It at least gives the public a chance to see the actions of our police.

How could releasing the video interfere with the investigation? The suspect is dead. Im guessing we wont see the video until all the other suspects are convicted. The fact that someone died will be laid in the lap of the other suspects, for maximum affect. Look at what you made us do. If the video shows questionable action by the police, it would blow up that narrative.
Another Doug
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AG
maroon barchetta said:

Do they have the Harding Street raid on there?
They didn't have body cams, but as a result I believe HPD made it a requirement that undercover cops had to wear body cams when doing warrants.
lethalninja
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Leslie Siddons and Abraham Escobar have each filed a writ of habeas corpus and are trying to get their bond reduced from $280,000 and $600,000, respectively. Leslie has a hearing on Thursday and Escobar has a hearing next Tuesday, so I'll update after their hearings.
Brian Alg
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CS78 said:

How could releasing the video interfere with the investigation?

In the brief the city attorney sent to the AG: "The information contains the officers' discussions regarding details of the crime and investigative strategies that are crucial to investigating of the cases and filing proper criminal charges."
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government and Moderator Restraint
CS78
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Stupe said:


Anywhere there is illegal stuff going on, there is the threat of violence. These people were selling a lot of it and they were doing it near a school.

What if someone tried to rip them off one day and they started shooting that close to a school? Would it matter if was "just weed"?


Good point about the locations being near schools. Why are we executing guns out drug raids, near our schools, on school mornings?

Would seem like a good policy to keep those to weekends only.
maroon barchetta
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Do you know many schools that are open before 5am??
CS78
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No but i know a lot of drug raids that turn into bad drawn out situations.
maroon barchetta
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Sounds like CSPD had a good plan at the house near Forest Ridge Elementary and carried it out well.
Smeghead4761
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Brian Alg said:

CS78 said:

How could releasing the video interfere with the investigation?

In the brief the city attorney sent to the AG: "The information contains the officers' discussions regarding details of the crime and investigative strategies that are crucial to investigating of the cases and filing proper criminal charges."
That, quite honestly, sounds like rationalization to me. They can easily edit it to include only the relevant portions, which would be from the time they first knock on the door to the point where the individual got shot.

I've never done any SWAT or other warrant service type stuff (and I'm pretty sure they did have SWAT there. I was scanning at work that morning, and I heard someone mentioned "SWAT's here" or words to that effect shortly before they switched over to an encrypted channel), but once they bang on the door and announce themselves, they're not discussing any of that stuff. They shouldn't be discussing anything. They should be listening for a response or any other activity from inside the residence.
Stupe
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S
Quote:

I've never done any SWAT or other warrant service type stuff
You don't say.
Stupe
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S
Quote:

but once they bang on the door and announce themselves, they're not discussing any of that stuff. They shouldn't be discussing anything. They should be listening for a response or any other activity from inside the residence.
And you know this how?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic with this question. How do you know what is said during these kinds of scenes when you are just sitting safely at a scanner?
Stucco
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Brian Alg said:

CS78 said:

How could releasing the video interfere with the investigation?

In the brief the city attorney sent to the AG: "The information contains the officers' discussions regarding details of the crime and investigative strategies that are crucial to investigating of the cases and filing proper criminal charges."
You could confront their exception claim by requesting all portions of records that do not interfere with investigation and prosecution of crime as excepted in 552.108.
Smeghead4761
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Stupe said:

Quote:

but once they bang on the door and announce themselves, they're not discussing any of that stuff. They shouldn't be discussing anything. They should be listening for a response or any other activity from inside the residence.
And you know this how?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic with this question. How do you know what is said during these kinds of scenes when you are just sitting safely at a scanner?
I was in the Army infantry for 10 years, with a year of that supervising MOUT training at the team, squad, and platoon level. I'm plenty familiar with entry ops and I've done "Enter Building/Clear Room" more than enough.

I was a cop for 6 years, so I understand the differences between the way police and the Army do things.

The amount of video necessary to show the public that CSPD was in the right should be relatively small:

1) Bodycam video from any entry team members who were involved in or whose camera had a view of the shooting and the events immediately preceding it - probably just from the time they crossed the threshold of the residence.

2) Video of the officer doing the knocking and announcing, to show that the knock and announce was loud enough to be heard, and that there was a reasonable time between such and conducting any forced entry. And if events inside the residence happened the way CSPD said they did, then this is really the only portion of the video that should even need audio.

I'm pretty sure that, in that limited amount of video, they could edit it (i.e., blur areas or remove audio if necessary) if needed to preserve the integrity of any criminal case.

The problem CSPD has is that, especially post-Floyd, there's a lot of public expectation that when the police kill or seriously injure someone, the video will be released and in a timely manner. And the public, rightly or wrongly, gets suspicious when the police refuse. (Note that this doesn't just apply to use of force incidents - the two most recent items on HPD's Critical Incident YouTube channel appear to be police vehicle involved crashes.) I get the feeling that CSPD's video release policy probably predates the summer of 2020.

Again, the video only needs to be enough to establish two things:

1) That the knock and announce were loud enough to be heard, and that, if a forced entry was made, a reasonable amount of time was allowed before making such entry;

2) That the individual shot by police presented a threat warranting the use of deadly force.

I find it difficult to believe that they can't edit and/or redact their video(s) in such a was so that it wouldn't compromise anything.
Hittag1492
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AG
Rapier108 said:

Guess you didn't listen to the press conference earlier today.
Not to implicate the police as they generally do the right thing, but without the body cam info then you really only have their word for what happened. No matter who says it, none of us should blindly believe anyone. Even police officers should be accountable-and willingly-to the public they serve. On the surface going by what they have said, all appears fine. There have been instances in the past where the complete story was not given initially. When someone is killed, there should be no question that the body cam footage should be made available.
Hittag1492
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AG
Stucco said:

Brian Alg said:

CS78 said:

How could releasing the video interfere with the investigation?

In the brief the city attorney sent to the AG: "The information contains the officers' discussions regarding details of the crime and investigative strategies that are crucial to investigating of the cases and filing proper criminal charges."
You could confront their exception claim by requesting all portions of records that do not interfere with investigation and prosecution of crime as excepted in 552.108.

Agree, these discussions could easily be muted. They really only need to show the initial entry and the threat they faced forcing the result.
Hittag1492
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AG
Brian Alg said:

CS78 said:

How could releasing the video interfere with the investigation?

In the brief the city attorney sent to the AG: "The information contains the officers' discussions regarding details of the crime and investigative strategies that are crucial to investigating of the cases and filing proper criminal charges."
The attorney would have been better off saying nothing. That is bull.
lethalninja
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Leslie Siddons had a hearing today to try to get her bond reduced from $280,000 to a lower amount. As of right now, her bond amount hasn't changed. Escobar has a hearing on Tuesday to try to get his bond reduced from $600,000.
maroon barchetta
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The prosecutor is watching intently the scene from L.A. Confidential where the detective lets the one perp hear bits and pieces of his interview.

They are going to turn these two against each other and uncover other players in the process in exchange for a plea bargain.
Brian Alg
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Asked for "Clips of the body cam videos from police who entered the residence; beginning from the first knock/announcement until the final shot was fired."

From the response (this is OCRed from a scan, there may be typos not in the original):

DISCUSSION

Under section 552.021 of the Act public information is available to the public. However, the Act contains several exceptions to required disclosure. The requested information should be withheld under the exceptions found in section 552.108 for Certain Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Prosecutorial Information.
The City of College Station Police Department ("CSPD") is an accredited municipal law enforcement agency, the primary function of which is to investigate and enforce criminal laws of the State of Texas and the City of College Station. Therefore, CSPD is a law enforcement agency within the meaning of section 552.108.
Responsive information in Exhibit 2 is excepted from disclosure under the exception found in Gov't Code 552.108(a)(l), because the release of information would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime. Responsive information should also be withheld under the exception in Gov't Code 552.108(b )(1 ), because it is an internal record or notation of CSPD that is maintained for internal CSPD use, and its release would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime.
On February 8, 2023, CSPD officers executed a search warrant at 925 Spring Loop. The incident is presently pending investigation and possible future prosecution by the Brazos County District Attorney.
Release of the requested information at this time would interfere with detection, investigation and prosecution of the related criminal charges because it would allow the public, including the possible defendant, access to the evidence before trial while the investigation is still ongoing. Release of this information without the prosecutor's knowledge will interfere with the future prosecution of this case. The information should also be withheld because it is part of internal records kept by CSPD that relates to CSPD law enforcement and prosecutorial functions. The information contains the officers' discussions regarding details of the crime and investigative strategies that are crucial to investigating the case and filing proper criminal charges.
Responsive information should also be withheld under the exception found in Gov't Code 552.101 because it is information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision.
Texas Occupations Code, Section 1701.660(a) prohibits the release of a recording created with a body worn camera and documenting an incident that involves the use of deadly force by a peace officer until all criminal matters have been finally adjudicated and all related administrative investigations have concluded.
On February 8, 2023, during the execution of the above mentioned search warrant, a CSPD officer used deadly force. The incident is currently being investigated by the Texas Rangers.
Release of the requested information at this time is prohibited by Tex. 0cc. Code, Sec. 1701.660(a) as the requested information is recordings created with body worn cameras and which document the use of deadly force by a peace officer and all criminal matters have not been finally adjudicated, nor have all related administrative investigations concluded.
Further, Texas Occupations Code, Section 1760.661 (f) prohibits release of any portions of a recording made in a location in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, including a person's home, without written authorization from the person who is the subject of that portion of the recording or, if that person is deceased, from the person's authorized representative.
The portions of the recordings responsive to this request were made inside a person's home. CSPD has not received written authorization from the subject(s) of the recordings, or their authorized representative(s), therefore release of these recordings is prohibited.

CONCLUSION

The City respectfully asks the Attorney General to withhold the requested information from Requestor based upon the exception found in Texas Government Code 552.101 because it is information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision, specifically Texas Occupations Code, Sec. 1701.660(a) and Sec. 1701.661(f), and based upon the exceptions found in Texas Government Code 552.108(a)(1) and 108(b)(1) because release of requested information at this time would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government and Moderator Restraint
Bunk Moreland
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Interesting that releasing a video of police executing a search warrant at a residence that resulted in the death of a person who was not charged or related to the investigation at all could interfere with the investigation.
CS78
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Bunk Moreland said:

Interesting that releasing a video of police executing a search warrant at a residence that resulted in the death of a person who was not charged or related to the investigation at all could interfere with the investigation.


Like I said, they'll use the shooting death as leverage against the current defendants. If the video shows questionable action by CSPD, it flips that leverage in those defendants favor. It could really sway public opinion and good luck finding jurors that haven't heard about the videos contents.

Nobody is going to see that video unless they are forced to release it or the current defendants are fully worked through the legal system (years from now).

I can see both sides though. Some of the political witchhunt trials of recent years have done a lot of damage to the court systems. Trying to avoid that kind of BS is important. But, it's more important to have trust in the way our local law enforcement is operating. Withholding video kinda makes that tough.
Stupe
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S
Exactly.
Stucco
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I find the claim that body cam footage is an internal record or notation of law enforcement abhorrent. Suddenly everything they don't want to share is an internal record. Body cam footage absolutely falls under the definition of public information.

I'm not sure how this video would somehow affect their ability to prosecute by revealing evidence to the Defendant, as if the Defendant isn't entitled to discovery.

Everyone has the opportunity to submit comments to the AG in response to the City's request per 502.304.
lethalninja
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Abraham Escobar's bond was reduced from $600,000 to $500,000 today, but he's still in jail.
Horn_in_Aggieland
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Officer No Billed by grand jury.

https://www.kbtx.com/2023/03/24/officer-who-killed-man-during-warrant-execution-return-duty/?fbclid=IwAR3-rPSfg01eqhzI08fZAjuK9laI7O9k7Br8kqwtkJ4IhKx0gY3G35BttUc&mibextid=l066kq#lflwnj0ukv3a8pjlf8
Another Doug
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AG
Holy ****, the Texas Rangers led the investigation into Chuck Norris's son. Did not expect that!
Smeghead4761
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I went through the TEEX police academy with that guy.
lethalninja
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Scott Siddons has a hearing tomorrow to try to get his bond reduced from $300,000 to a lower amount. So far, Leslie Siddons has been unsuccessful in trying to get her bond reduced from $280,000, and Abraham Escobar has been successful in getting his bond reduced from $600,000 to $500,000. Escobar bonded out of jail on March 10th, and Scott and Leslie Siddons are still in jail.
555-PINF
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Another Doug said:

Holy ****, the Texas Rangers led the investigation into Chuck Norris's son. Did not expect that!

Unless Chuck's son is a prodigy who graduated HS at the age of 11 or is possibly a time traveler, it's not the same guy.
Another Doug
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AG
If anyone could do that, it would be the son of Chuck Norris
 
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