WATCH: What goes into releasing body cam footage?

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
September 22, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Lt. Grady Jordan of the Leon County Sheriff's Office discusses some of the procedures and decisions that go into releasing body camera footage and other evidence.

The discussion comes in the wake of the recent shootings and killings of two men in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Video has shown a Tulsa police officer shooting an unarmed man. Police in Charlotte say they are reviewing footage, but have not released any as of yet.

Unanswered questions have led to two nights of protests and unrest in Charlotte so far.

From an evidence standpoint, releasing body camera or dash cam footage may not be as simple as just saying "yes" or "no."

"Once you start releasing evidence, you start tainting jury pools," Jordan says. "So even if the person is arrested, you start looking at 'what's the jury going to see' and 'what's been released to the media," and again, that person is innocent until proven guilty in court, so you don't want to contaminate that jury pool with evidence."

Jordan urges patience in emotional situations and says that the facts will come out eventually.

Jordan also describes how the sheriff's office and local officials work with community leaders to release information and maintain transparency as an agency.

"The leaders in our law enforcement have such a good relationship with the leaders in our community, the pastors in our community," He says. "Because of the great relationships we have and the collaboration that we have between the community leaders, the pastors, and the churches, so that if something like this does happen they know they're going to get the best information we have upfront and as quickly as possible."

Jordan says the sheriff's office is committed to doing it "the right way."

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