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'I've Never Seen It Like That': First Amendment Foundation President Talks TPD Body Cam Footage

bodycam TPD 0908.png
City of Tallahassee Youtube
This image is a screenshot of a video put together by the Tallahassee Police Department, featuring body camera footage and other video clips provided as context, showing the shooting of Tony McDade by an officer on May 27, 2020, and the events that led up to the shooting.

After a Leon County grand jury last week reviewed three fatal police shootings that happened this year, the City of Tallahassee published body camera footage of each incident Friday. In each case, Tallahassee Police Department officers were cleared of wrongdoing by the grand jury.

The videos are narrated by the police department, including context related to what led to shots being fired by officers.

Ryan Dailey spoke with Pamela Marsh, president of the Florida First Amendment Foundation, to get her thoughts on the City’s release of the public records.

Questions, with timestamps:


Given the nature of your organization, what do you think about the way the body camera footage was presented to the general public?


Generally, when you see body camera or dash-cam footage, it’s presented as being exactly as the incident happened. Does the way TPD presented this footage conflict with the purpose of body camera footage?


The family of Malik Jackson, who was stabbed to death by Tony McDade, is upset that the video put together by TPD shows Jackson with his injuries. The Jackson family has cited Marsy’s law, saying as a victim Jackson should not have been shown on video. Do you think Marsy’s Law should have covered something like this?

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.