This is the least shocking news I’ve heard all week. Faced with a FOIA request for dashboard cam videos of police misconduct, one of the worst cities in the country for police brutality has conveniently misplaced more than 100,000 of those videos.
More than 100,000 dashcam videos have disappeared from the Seattle Police Department, prompting city investigators to recommend the department do a better job of tracking and saving those videos.
For more than a year, KOMO News fought for access to the department’s dashcam videos and video catalog to see if they show questionable behavior by officers.
Denied again and again, KOMO eventually sued.
As Seattle defends itself against that lawsuit, on Wednesday the city auditor released a report detailing the problems with how SPD handles dashcam videos and how it responds to the public’s request to see them.
The auditor found inconsistent documentation about whether videos requested by public disclosure were even found or sent. After 90 days, video is deleted and moved to a backup system, which the report said is too difficult to access. Additionally, the cameras themselves can shut down to preserve battery life, which prevents recording and delays the video from being uploaded after an officer’s shift.
But buried in the report is the fact that 105,000 videos disappeared in 2008 after two hardware failures.
As if by magic…