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Judge To Order Smith Shooting Video Released Under New Law

Still from Officer Michael Bell's body camera video
Still from Officer Michael Bell's body camera video, released previously.

A judge has agreed to allow the public release of body and dash cam footage from the fatal CMPD shooting of Rodney Smith last June. It appears this would be the first police video released under a new state law that requires a court order to make such footage public. 

The order came after a legal request by WFAE. A judge denied WFAE's previous request in November because the district attorney hadn't weighed in on whether to charge officers Garret Tryon and Michael Bell. 

CMPD attorney Mark Newbold supported this petition, since the DA in December completed its review of the officers' actions.

"We feel that some of the misinformation that goes on about police shootings can be cleared up by people who want to look at the video and look at the detailed report that the district attorney has put out," Newbold said.

WFAE's Lisa Worf argued in court yesterday that the public interest to see the video is even greater because it's the evidence the DA relied on not to charge the officers.

The attorneys of the two officers opposed it, saying the video could inflame people and make them targets. 

Superior Court Judge Jesse Caldwell says he'll sign the order late next week.  


Jan. 13, 2017, Charlotte Observer, "Judge orders release of video in fatal Charlotte police shooting"