KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — More than a decade ago, law enforcement agencies across the U.S. started using body cameras to record how officers respond to calls. Recently, the public had a chance to see footage from some body cameras after the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
A former FBI agent and federal prosecutor said that the cameras have helped promote accountability among law enforcement.
"Transparency is a top priority for agencies, and this is a tool used in that regard," M. Quentin Williams said. "Often, we see that officers will say that something happened, and somebody else will say just the opposite, and nine times out of ten the footage backs up the officer."
They will also make sure that the truth is revealed if what an officer reports doesn't match up with what the camera records. He also said he would review footage from the deadly police beating of Nichols and would keep some questions in mind when analyzing the recordings.
"Why did they pull him over, and once they pulled him over, how was he treated from that point on? I'm very interested to see how, out of the five officers, how they responded to the alleged acts. Was anybody trying to dissuade them from doing this to Mr. Nichols?" he said.
An attorney in Knoxville said that after reviewing the footage, he was not surprised that all five police officers were charged with second-degree murder.
"It protects the public, and justice is about seeking truth," said T. Scott Jones. "That's why we have a justice system. We did try to glean all of the facts and video certainly provides a lot of the facts we didn't previously have."