Police officials in Sacramento, California, boast about their use of body cameras, and the quick release of the footage they capture, as centerpieces of a larger effort to improve the public’s trust.
But the fatal shooting by police officers last week of an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, has exposed a potential flaw in that effort and opened up a new front in the national debate over body cameras: officers’ ability to turn off the microphone on the device.
Body cam footage from the two officers who shot Clark in a residential backyard after dark on March 18 includes the chase, one officer shouting “gun” in a mistaken belief that Clark was armed, then the gunfire. It also covers the aftermath, as backup arrives and the officers walk to the street. During their exit, one officer says, “Hey, mute.” Then the audio on both cameras goes silent while the video continues to show authorities responding to the scene.
Source: Police shot Stephon Clark. Then their bodycams went mute. : NBC News