Fmr. DA expounds on whether 1 Oct. officer forgetting to turn on body camera was a big deal

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Recently released body camera video gives the public a better look at the moment Metro Police officers entered gunman, Stephen Paddock’s suite following the 1 October shooting.

About three hours of video was released to the media Wednesday.  On Thursday, the focus turned toward the SWAT officer who forgot to turn on his recording device.  The officer was the first to enter Paddock’s room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Police sources told 8 News NOW the SWAT officer is Levi Hancock.

8 News NOW spoke with former Clark County District Attorney David Roger to find out what it means for the officer who forgot to turn on his body camera.

Karen Castro, Reporter: “How important is that in the grand scheme of things?
Roger: “Probably not too important.”

The footage released by Metro as part of a court order comes from the cameras of two K-9 officers.

Looking at the video Roger says the K-9 officers entered the room seconds after SWAT Officer Hancock goes in.

Wednesday’s release was the first time the footage had been made available to the public as well as attorneys with pending lawsuits against MGM International and Live Nation Entertainment.

8 News NOW asked Roger about legal concerns surrounding the footage.

“From my perspective, there’s nothing from the body camera videos which would help any of those cases, except establish, perhaps pain and suffering of the victims and the trauma,” Roger said. 

But as far as department policy is concerned, Roger says officers are required to activate their body cameras when they respond to an emergency.  With that said, Roger also admitted that Metro does not have a 100 percent activation rate.  He says he doesn’t believe Hancock intentionally forgot to hit record on his device.

“These guys are heroes,” Roger said.  “These guys are warriors. I mean, this was not your typical situation. This was, get your gear on, run and go stop the threat.”
        
Roger also says officers are allowed to turn off their body cameras after a situation is deemed stagnant.

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