Video Recording Calculated Use of Force Incidents
Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for corrections officers and it deals with recording calculated use of force incidents in your jail.
You’re all set to go, right? Maybe not. Did you remember the camera? I suggest you grab a handheld video camera and assign someone to film the extraction from start to finish.
Here’s a scenario to consider. You have an inmate in his cell. He did something wrong. Now you have to move him to restrictive housing. But he is refusing to go. He’s threatening staff. Nobody can talk him out of it.
Eventually, a cell extraction team is assembled. The team is ready to go. Everyone has their assignments. All the necessary equipment is prepared. Force options are ready. A supervisor is there. You’re all set to go, right?
Maybe not. Did you remember the camera? I suggest you grab a handheld video camera and assign someone to film the extraction from start to finish. What a great way to help document what occurs. This can be great evidence to refute allegations of excessive force while documenting the inmate’s response.
Capture the inmate’s words and actions before the cell door opens. Keep recording all the way through to the inmate’s visit with the medical staff.
If a chemical agent is used, record it when the inmate is offered the opportunity to decontaminate. Record everything you can within legal and regulatory guidelines.
Even though the video recording may capture the entire event, it shouldn’t take the place of written reports. It will serve as a great supplement to the reports though.
Also, it doesn’t have to be a cell extraction to be recorded. Consider recording when you place someone in a restraint chair. Or when you are administering medication to an inmate who doesn’t want it.
What about when you are executing a search warrant for a DNA sample? Basically, whenever you have advance notice that force is likely, consider rolling the camera.
And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off.