Body Worn Video Steering Group
The fatal shooting of a 56 year old man in Topeka, Kansas – caught on body worn video by one of the officers involved – is to be investigated by the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.
The man in question – identified as Daniel E. DeLong, was fired upon by one of the three officers at the scene after charging at the officers with a knife.
The officer who fired shots is to be placed on administrative leave. Police Chief Ron Miller said he will decide later if the two other officers will also be placed on administrative leave.
The body worn video evidence of the incident will be a welcome tool for both the County Sheriff’s Office and the Police Chief in the confirmation/dismissal of any suspicions of excessive force used.
The Toronto police force in Canada is currently under scrutiny for a similar incident.
An 18 year old man wielding a knife was shot 9 times. The incident was recorded on mobile phones by numerous bystanders and quickly spread over the internet, leading to outrage among the public and protests on the Toronto streets.
Canada has recently been debating whether BWV evidence of the event could potentially avoid public outcry by providing the officers’ perspective of the incident, as well as providing Police Chief Bill Blair – the man who pledged to investigate the incident – with an independent witness account of events to aid his analysis.