In a hearing this week in front of Judge James Green in the Franklin County Municipal Court, I watched what may have been the first use of Columbus Police Body cameras as evidence in a court proceeding. Police are testing the Taser Axon Body Camera.
Another attorney filed a motion to suppress related to a OVI traffic stop being prosecuted by City assistant Prosecutor Glenn Willer. The driver was a transgender individual who was found lying on the ground beside a car on I-71. Someone called 911 about the car being "on fire" according to Police Officer Dana Hess, one of only a few officers testing Columbus Police body cameras made by the Taser Corporation.
According to Officer Hess, the officer activates the camera upon arrival, and then the camera saves video from 30 second buffer, with no audio. After 30 seconds the new Columbus Police body camera records audio as well. I watched the video, which was taken at night with freeway lighting. The video and audio was quite clear for night time. The camera hooks into the shirt and is adjustable.
What was interesting about this video recording is that, like some other cases I have seen recently, nobody observed the suspect operating the vehicle. Although this suspect was totally incoherent, it may be difficult to prove the OVI charge when the suspect was only observed laying on the ground.
In a few other cases in Columbus I have seen videos taken by other types of portable cameras. One was by an undercover officer on foot in a Metro Park, who recorded a person gratifying himself when he walked up to the car. Taser also makes a version which mounts to a Police Officer's glasses.
I guess my advice to you is to assume you are always being recorded. Exercise your right to remain silent. Remember, Big Brother IS watching (and recording) you!