Two police department employees have been editing swearing out of body camera footage without permission.
A Metro Nashville Police Department internal investigation, obtained by WPLN News this week, revealed that more than one employee was altering body camera footage without permission.
IT employee Jeremy Dorcey has been with the police department for a year and a half. Up until April of this year, he and another civilian IT employee, Elizabeth Fleming, have been editing swearing out of body camera footage, both when used by an officer or a member of the public.
The investigation shows at least one captain on the force was asked about the practice last year, but it continued. The investigation did not reveal how many videos were edited or what exactly was edited out.
“He’s been doing this for a year and a half without any record of his redactions or edits,” says Jill Fitcheard, head of the community oversight board. “I have no idea if, in fact, when he has cut out what he claims is profanity — whether or not it’s coupled with racial epithets or racial slurs.”
MNPD’s internal investigation was prompted by the community oversight board in June, after they were provided footage that was edited without their knowledge during an investigation into officer misconduct. MNPD originally told the oversight board that this was an isolated incident involving one employee, but the internal investigation shows that it was more widespread.
MNPD recommended a written reprimand for both IT employees and more training on redactions for the entire Public Records Unit.
But Fitcheard still has questions, and plans to recommend a third party look into the incident.
“You want the Nashville community to trust in your process and to believe that what you’re saying in these interviews, and your outcome — your summary is truthful,” Fitcheard says. “You want them to believe that, but I have all these lists of questions that are unanswered. And until I get down to the bottom of it, I can’t stand by this investigation and say that it’s an accurate depiction of what happened.”