Judge Orders Release of Police Shooting Video

The police body cam law was put to the test in Charlotte last week and earned an “A” for public access. Mecklenburg County Superior Court Judge Jesse Caldwell ordered all Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department body and dash cam video to be released in connection with the June 2 police shooting of Rodney Rodriguez Smith, a teenage boy.

A new North Carolina law requires a judge’s approval to release police video. Police spotted Smith after reports of a shooting on a bus, and a department spokesman said officers felt threatened as they approached him because he was armed. Authorities say officers fired, and Smith died at the scene. The officers, who weren’t hurt, were cleared of any wrongdoing.

CMPD said the videos would likely be posted to their website late next week.

Finally – A Little Funding for Research on Gun Violence

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has finally awarded $3.3 million dollars for fireams research.

Since 1996, the Center for Disease Control, an agency that distributes over $5 billion in funding, has avoided funding any research grants having to do with gun violence. Their research was the focus of attacks from the NRA.

The awards are “small potatoes” according to the David Hemenway of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. While we are very glad to see some funds finally going to help our communities understand what strategies might help reduce gun violence, we would like to see more funding go towards solving this critical problem.