- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas police department has mostly stopped using processing room videos for driving-under-the-influence incidences because officials say they are often detrimental to the department’s cases.

Defense attorneys often used the videos to poke holes in a case, so the department stopped making them unless there was an issue with recordings from police vehicles, Riley County Police Department Director Brad Schoen told The Manhattan Mercury (http://bit.ly/1zqfctT ).

“No, we’re not using it; except in cases where there was no video in the field or when conditions could, in the officer’s estimation, be legitimately perceived as deleterious to the testing (weather, unsafe location, etc.),” Schoen told Riley County commissioner Dave Lewis in an email this summer.

Lewis had contacted Schoen on behalf of attorney Jeremy Platt, who sent an email to the commissioner in August about not receiving videos from the county jail.

“For about six months now, the videos have become more and more sporadic,” Platt told Lewis. “Almost to the point where I am more surprised if I get a video than if I don’t.”

While Platt acknowledged to the newspaper that the law doesn’t require the department to maintain the videotapes, he called the new policy for gathering evidence “antiquated.”

“RCPD has this capability, and they’re choosing to suppress it,” he said.

The Police Department’s recent push for its officers to begin using body cameras is misleading, Platt said.

“They’ve got a video on the website about they feel it’s beneficial for everybody,” he said. “I think it contradicts what the department put into an email to a member of the Riley County law board.”

Schoen, insisted that it doesn’t make sense to have recordings from both the cruiser and the processing room because probable cause had been established the first time.

“I can appreciate Mr. Platt doesn’t like that because he’s a defense attorney and it makes his job harder,” Schoen said.

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