Police officials in Sacramento, California, have touted their quick release of officers' body camera footage as part of a broader effort to build trust with the public.
But the fatal shooting by police officers last week of an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, has exposed a potential flaw in that effort: officers' ability to shut off the cameras' microphones.
On body cam footage from the two officers who shot Clark in a residential backyard after dark on March 18, one officer can be heard shouting "gun" — in a mistaken belief that Clark was armed — before the sound of gunfire. Footage also captured the aftermath, as backup arrives and the officers walk to the street, NBC News reported.
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But at one point, one officer says, "Hey, mute." Then the audio on both cameras goes silent.