Body Camera Footage From Milwaukee Won’t Be Released Until After Charges Decided

Amber Randall | Civil Rights Reporter

Body camera footage from the Milwaukee Sylville Smith shooting will not be released until a decision has been made on whether to charge the officer.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel told the media in a briefing that both officers involved wore body cameras at the time, reports the Wall Street Journal. The officer who shot Sylville Smith wore one, as well as the officer who was with him.

A black police officer fatally shot Smith, who ran away after police stopped his car. Police said that Smith had a handgun with him. Officers pulled over what looked like a suspicious car. Slyville Smith and another man were in the car and they both tried to run away

Gov. Scott Walker activated the National Guard as a precaution.

Schimel said that to release the body camera footage “would compromise the integrity of the investigation.”

“It is sometimes necessary to confront witnesses with information they didn’t know or they didn’t know we know. I cannot have witness statements colored or tainted by what they are seeing from other sources,” he continued.

Schimel also stated that the videos are “just one piece of information among many.” He said that the body camera recordings were not clear, due to police officers running.

Smith’s body was returned to his family, according to Schimel.

“No matter what the end result … it is a terrible tragedy to have lost a loved one. We will leave no stone unturned to get to the truth in this. The vast majority of law enforcement officers serve honorably and with integrity and commitment every day. The use of deadly force is a traumatic act they hope to avoid,” Schimel stated.

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