PHILADELPHIA (KYW) -- A man intends to sue the Philadelphia Police Department, accusing one of its officers of apparently deleting video of an arrest from his cellphone.
“There’s dishonesty happening here,” Lennon Edwards with Mills & Edwards LLP said. “There’s tampering with evidence here and it kills. It harms. It harms the community.”
This is video of Philadelphia Police Officer Tyree Burnett allegedly deleting video from Jacob Giddings’ cellphone following a traffic stop. The video is from a police body camera.
“While this happened in Philadelphia, this is something that happens all over the country,” Edwards said. “This exposes what’s happening. It exposes a particular incident, but this is a prevalent issue.”
Edwards is representing Giddings. The incident happened back in March.
Edwards says Giddings was approached by the officer at a gas station and was told to get out of the car. According to Edwards, Giddings was given no reason for why and that is when he began recording.
Giddings dropped his phone while being put in a police car, but it was still recording — and so was the body cam. The body cam footage shows the officer apparently going through the phone and allegedly deleting the video.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw addressed the issue on Wednesday.
“We are aware of this incident,” Outlaw said. “He’s actually been on restricted duty since, I believe, April, but there is an active and ongoing Internal Affairs investigation right now.”
Giddings will seek monetary damages, but his lawyer says what he really wants is police reform.
“It’s not just the officer who initiated this,” Edwards said. “It’s a support system that he had. It’s that the officers there said nothing and did nothing.”
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