EPD releases video taken during stop of local firefighter

RAW: EPD video taken during stop of local firefighter
Published: Aug. 21, 2013 at 7:51 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 28, 2013 at 9:54 PM CDT
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After receiving a "Freedom of Information Act"request from 14 News, the Evansville Police Department has released video from the controversial stop of a local firefighter.

The department tells us the body-worn camera was not turned on during the initial contact. 

You can tell the video begins once the suspect, George Madison is already in handcuffs and sitting on the ground.

The police officers and Madison discuss a phone call he (Madison) tried to make, and then talk about the run-in that resulted in the stop.

Near the end of the clip Madison, now out of cuffs, tells the officers he understands the situation, saying "This is one of those bad experiences… You're trying to do your job and I understand that…. I swear man, the only thing that anybody wants is to be treated like a m----f---- human."

Evansville Police say the body camera Officer Clegg used to record part of George Madison's traffic stop had been issued to him three or four days earlier-as part of a training and evaluation process.

The EPD tells 14 News right now they only have two of those particular cameras in house and that they're being tested out within the department.

Police say about 100 officers or a third of the force, in different areas of the department, have another kind of video camera.

Police say they have asked for more body cameras in their budget request.

They say the kind Officer Clegg was using costs almost $1,000 per camera.

"When you have 300 officers on your department, it doesn't take long to figure out what the cost is going to be," said Sgt. Jason Cullum. "The return on that investment for us is the studies have shown that a lot of things change when officers are equipped with these cameras, primarily, the number of complaints. Another thing that decreases is use of force incidents," said Sgt. Cullum.

Police say they've requested funds in their budget for cameras for the department's entire motor patrol unit, but they'd ideally like for all officers and detectives to have them.

Budget discussions for the City of Evansville are still going on, so police say they haven't officially been told whether or not their request will be approved.

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