Across the U.S., groups have suggested that the use of body cameras be required for officers, a policy that many departments are still weighing. For over a decade now, however, dash cameras have recorded footage used for both evidence and in law enforcement training.
And as was recently the case in Michigan, Fox 2 reports, sometimes it’s not the citizen who needs video evidence to prove an assault, but the officer.
Officer Martin Mikolajczak was on patrol when he spotted a familiar vehicle – one belonging to Breianna Smart, whom Mikolajczak had stopped only weeks before.
Realizing that Smart was driving on a suspended license, the officer pulled her over and attempted to place her under arrest. Ignoring commands from Mikolajczak, Smart continued a conversation on her cell phone throughout the encounter, saying:
“Can you come up here to the gas station? He’s harassing me. He’s putting his hands up on me.
He’s touching me. He’s hurt – He’s hitting on me. You need to come up here.”
The police cruiser’s dash cam – which shows that Mikolajczak had at no point struck, hit, or harassed the woman – kept rolling as Smart continued to resist arrest, suddenly jumping back into her vehicle and slamming it into reverse, striking the officer with her open car door and flinging him into his own cruiser:
After driving away, with Mikolajczak still lying on the ground…