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Sheriff: Bills game body camera video doesn't support program

Posted at 6:34 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 12:15:46-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — “The video and the opinions that are being drawn from that would have a negative affect in suggesting that this does not help us or get the truth out to the public," Erie County Sheriff, Timothy Howard, says. “The portion of that video or the single video being shown does not depict what I believe happened that day.”

Body camera video of a Bills fan last year depicts an Erie County Sheriff's deputy getting into a bloody altercation with a fan after he used an expletive in a tailgate lot at New Era Field. The fan suffered a broken nose and a concussion and his since filed a notice of claim against Erie County. District Attorney, John Flynn, dismissed the case in June after watching the video.

Thursday's Erie County Legislature Public Safety meeting addressed the question surrounding the body camera program? Will it be implemented? And when? The pilot program ended in March and Howard says the program is still under evaluation with budget, privacy and union issues to address.

“Body cams are raw footage and whatever happens on the body cameras is what happens, that’s my opinion," Erie County Majority Leader, April Baskin, says. “It is imperative that [the video] is the driving force and catalyst behind the county’s consideration on if that’s something we want deputies to be wearing at all times."

The program would cost the county approximately $15,000 a week in cameras and video storage costs.

"The faith and the trust of the public is an extremely important factor in the success of law enforcement," Howard says.

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