This post has been updated to incorporate a response from the district attorney’s office.
San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman is going to keep deciding when police body-worn camera footage becomes public if San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman has any say over it.
Zimmerman doesn’t think the City Council needs to pass a policy stipulating when and how such footage would become public, she said during a Wednesday presentation on the city’s body camera program to the Council’s Public Safety committee.
Currently, Zimmerman’s police department and Mayor Kevin Faulconer decide on a case-by-case basis when to release footage.
Last month, the city attorney’s office released a memo that said the Council could pass a policy outlining when public disclosure was appropriate. Zimmerman said the current, ad-hoc set-up is best.
“I’m very comfortable with our policy,” she said.
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If it wasn't for the fact that private people have been filming incidents with their cameras, we wouldn't have seen things that the police later altered before the public was able to see the truth behind some of the murders of mentally ill people here in the city. The problem being is that they control was goes into the media. Once in a while you get the truth, by accident mostly. And it is not through this Police Dept. full of ex-military, that still have a taste for violence. I.ve been through 3 wars, and have seen shoot-outs in broad day light, its not normal for your child to see someone get murdered that is mentally ill ,it is not normal!. If the city goes into denial over this because they don't want to lose the Police force, it means duck and cover for the tourists and hope you or your child won't get hit by flying bullets
This article exposes a key flaw in VOSD reporting. Up to now VOSD has mostly gone to the Police Chief for comment/inquiry on these cases despite the reality that under the strong mayor form of government, the Police Chief is appointed by and reports to the Mayor. By stopping their inquiries, in most cases, at the Police Chief, VOSD has allowed the Mayor to hide behind her. Now that the cards are on the table and it is clear that the Mayor makes these decisions on a case-by-case basis (and that these decisions are as political as they are administrative), I hope VOSD will recognize that they need to hold the Mayor accountable by asking the Mayor's office for comment. It's basic journalism folks. You interview the person responsible for making the decision, not the underlings. If they won't talk, you report that they refused to comment.
When San Diego changed from a strong manager form of government to a strong mayor form of government, the public was sold on the idea that the elected mayor would therefore be accountable to the electorate, unlike the appointed city manager. That only works effectively when the press hold the mayor accountable. Read the New York Times, for example, and you'll see that Mayor de Blasio is held responsible by the press for whatever takes place under the oversight of his administration. So should it be here.
@Chris Brewster Well said, Mr. Brewster.
@Chris Brewster Excellent observation. We're so used to the Mayor just being "one more person on the Council" that we forget who is the real decision maker.
@Chris Brewster You use polite language to say what I -a man of coarseness- have repeatedly bleated. The local press has been co-opted and is little more than a shill for Zimmerman, "the product of a nationwide search" to replace Lansdowne. As evidence, I offer an applicable excerpt from VOSD's article of December 29, 2015, The Tragic Life and Death Of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad. VOSD claimed that:
"The court decision has prompted Dumanis and other high-ranking law enforcement officials to reassess their restrictive policies on releasing police video footage. Dumanis said she, Zimmerman, Sheriff Bill Gore and U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy are planning to meet to revise the region’s policies and come up with new standards in the next three months."
And now, just about 3 months later, VOSD has the effrontery to write this article, where the above is little more than a footnote,. Perhaps it is the result of laziness; or fear. I would have asked questions about the above and demanded answers, not only from Zimmerman, but from Dumanis, Gore and Duffy. But I am coarse, yet unafraid.
@Chris Brewster right on...nobody wants the transperancy, yet our citizens are being harassed and bullied and shot everyday in this city.
Will the chief of police and DA ever come to the conclusion that they work for the public? What do they have to hide? I don't buy that they're protecting victims. They're protecting dirty cops. Get rid of the dirty officers and there shouldn't be any reason to not release videos.
@Desde la Logan dirty violent cops. We need to vote all of these corrupt officials out of office. The bribes that go on are simply shameful and embarrassing. We ARE NOT the UNDERCLASS. There are so many fancy titles, agencies and corrupt land deals going on constantly. This City council's focus is the NFL elite and their own pensions. Council person S. Leightners husband is getting ready to take her position without even being recommended or voted in legally. One hand strokes the other. What bother me the most is all the sales pitching that goes on with Mr, Todd Gloria who is Faulconers salesman, and money man. I didn't vote for either one of them, I would never vote for someone as mechanical stoned face as Mr. Faulconer. I was always afraid his face might crack if he showed emotion. He was bought and paid for by,
I shudder to guess.