GREENVILLE Co., SC – Greenville County Sheriff Johnny Mac Brown announced Thursday that he intends to change the way local media and the public receive audio and video recordings of dangerous incidents within the county jurisdiction.
According to Mac Brown, the Sheriff’s Office will now release all body camera footage, dash cam video, surveillance and 911 tapes together on a cohesive clip on Youtube.
“It will provide the public an opportunity to hear the facts and allow everyone to develop a comprehensive understanding of what took place,” said Mac Brown at a press conference at the Law Enforcement Center.
According to Public Information Officer, Lieutenant Ryan Flood, the recordings will compiled any time there is an officer-involved shooting, an in-custody death, or if a deputy uses significant force that causes a person to be admitted to a hospital.
“If a deputy used a non-lethal weapon to subdue a subject, these videos will provide an explanation of what that tool is and why it was used,” explained Lt. Flood.
The idea, Flood explained, was to be more transparent with the public while also providing context to what is happening in the video.
Videos released will be narrated by an officer, explaining what actions are being taken.
“It provides the community with the objective facts of the critical incident, allowing the public to see how the event unfolded, and second, to act as an educational tool; explaining the actions taken as the parallel the videos,” said Lt. Flood.
The Youtube videos, or Critical Incident Community Briefings, as the Sherriff’s Office is referring to them as, will be posted within 45 days of the incident, regardless of if the investigation is complete or not.
Faces of witnesses and victims, they assure, will be blurred.
“We want to promote that transparency as well as balance the need to do a full and effective investigation,” said 13th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins.