The Seattle Police Department announced this week that a glitch in its digital storage system has erased two days of all "dashboard" videos recorded in its patrol cars. These in-car videos can be crucial in numerous kinds of criminal cases, including when officers stop drivers on suspicion of drunk driving.
As CBS Seattle reports, the department says that videos between July 13 and July 14 have become irretrievable. There were more than 2100 videos lost in all. Of those, it's estimated that 537 of them had "evidentiary value," meaning that they did include evidence that could be used to help substantiate a criminal charge.
According to the Seattle PD, of these evidentiary videos, they include 138 traffic citations, 60 crisis contacts, and 138 traffic citations. Only 89 of the videos include actual arrests.
Growing Technology Challenges
The storage glitch described by the Seattle PD is indicative of growing concerns over the technological capacity of many police departments in the age of body cameras. While there are many proponents for greater police surveillance and accountability, the tremendous amount content captured by additional cameras needs to properly managed and stored by these departments—which many times requires additional training and staffing.
These kind of in-car videos are often critical in drunk driving cases. Not only do they capture the interaction between officers and drivers but, perhaps more importantly, often record a lack of probable cause needed to pull a driver over in the first place.
If you or a loved one have been charged with drunk driving, we urge you to contact us at the Law Office of Mark W. Garka, PLLC. Attorney Garka is a former prosecutor who knows how to challenge these allegations and ensure the rights of his clients remain a priority throughout every step of the legal process.
Explore your options with a proven Snohomish County DUI attorney. Call our firm today to request a free case evaluation.