Judge Orders Partial Release of Bodycam Videos in Police Shooting

Sep 4, 2015

Credit N.H. Attorney General

A New Hampshire Superior Court has ordered the partial release of body camera videos showing two officers shooting and killing a man who lunged at them with a knife.

The case was the first of its kind, according to the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.  The family asked for the videos not to be released, citing its right to privacy, and concern the deceased man’s children would see the video of their father’s death. The Valley News and  other media outlets sought the videos under the state’s Right To Know law.

Justice Peter Fauver ruled in a sort of compromise. He ordered redaction of almost four minutes of one officer’s bodycam, but released all of the audio, as well as dashcam video from farther away.

"In this case the court, I think, admirably attempted to balance the family's privacy interests with the strong public interest in disclosure," said Gilles Bissonnette with the NHCLU.  The organization filed a brief in the case.

However, Bissonette says, whether the redacted materials will be sufficiently informative to the public remains to be seen. The videos will be released September 21.