As we reported earlier we have obtained the police cruiser cam video from the Sammy Watkins arrest. The video is almost 48 minutes long and spans from before the arresting officer hit the blue lights until the time the cruiser parked at the police station with Watkins in the back seat.
Initially I expected to be able to review and post the video by the early part of Tuesday afternoon, but little did I know how difficult it would be just for me to open the file to view it myself much less embed and share it.
After doing a little research I learned this is no accident. Turns out law enforcement would just assume you not be able to easily share what is on these dash cam videos. You can’t really blame them I suppose. According a story posted on the police publication Digital Eyes:
Automated programs can’t “read” the code you see in the box: only humans can. … That way, they won’t show up on TV or YouTube.”
Our IT departments is great and they were able to come up quick solutions for short edited versions and even some longer more detailed versions with a lower quality, but I opted not to post them. I didn’t want there to be any questions as to what was edited and why. Also, I don’t want the quality to be altered to the point you can’t hear the parts of the video that contain audio. I think it is important to be able to see the whole thing in full context.
So that is why the video has yet to be posted. There are some other outlets that have obtained the video and they very well may figure out a way to post it before we do, which is fine. I haven’t given up on posting it by any means; I just want to make sure I do it properly. I still believe the video, which is a public document, should be available for viewing.
We spent a lot of time on SportsTalk tonight discussing what we saw in the video. Greg Wallace from the Anderson Independent Mail also did a nice recap of what the video entailed. I can see why Watkins attorney, Robert Ariail opted not to seek an order from a judge to keep the video sealed. Based on some of the things I observed in the video, I think it may actually help Watkins in terms of how he and his legal team defend the case.
By the way, we met with Ariail in our Columbia studios Tuesday afternoon to discuss the case. However, he declined to speak on the record at this time.
We are still in the process of gathering and organizing a lot of the information we have gathered over the past 24 hours. We will pass along this information shortly. And hopefully we will be able to share the video with you shortly as well.