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Federal judge admonishes Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office over clearing remainder of dashcam server after ‘catastrophic’ crash

Howard Manis and Andrew Clarke of The Cochran Firm of the Mid-South fight for families’ rights in the catastrophic crash in Chattanooga.

Howard Manis

U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Steger said on Wednesday he didn’t understand why the sheriff’s office would use the same server to store new data but stopped short of issuing sanctions against the county — though he compared the server situation to a crime scene.

In the civil cases, attorneys Robin Flores, Howard Manis and Andrew Clarke noted that the videos they received show that Wilkey was wearing a body microphone that was turned on, but the audio in the videos doesn’t reflect that.

Most sheriff’s office deputies do not have body cameras. Instead, they have body mics.

Sheriff’s office dashcam videos released in the past by the DA’s office in unrelated cases often include two separate videos showing the same footage but with different audio: one for the in-car audio and another for the body mic.

Another issue brought up by plaintiff attorneys is that, because they have second-generation copies of the videos, specific data is missing. That data, such as times and dates of creation, would have been embedded within the original videos and would have helped with authentication.

And because the sheriff’s office reformatted the server after it crashed, it made it “impossible for a true forensic examination of what happened to that server,” Manis told Steger.

To learn more read the full article at the Chattanooga times Free Press.