- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco’s fire chief has rescinded the reprimand of a firefighter whose helmet-mounted camera captured footage of a fire rig at the Asiana Airlines crash site running over a 16-year-old girl on the tarmac.

In a letter provided to the San Francisco Chronicle (https://bit.ly/RSQH5A) by the firefighter’s attorney, Chief Joanne Hayes-White said she concluded the department had insufficient evidence to support the reprimand.

Battalion Chief Mark Johnson was accused of violating a 2009 department general order against unauthorized filming in the workplace when he recorded the July 6 crash.

The chief argued at the time that the footage could open the department up to medical privacy lawsuits if it was used in an unauthorized way.

The reprimand came after Johnson’s footage was published in the Chronicle and elsewhere, confirming victim Ye Meng Yuan was run over by a rig. Footage from another, department-sanctioned camera also showed Ye being struck by as well.

The girl was still alive when she was hit by the emergency response vehicles, according to the San Mateo County coroner.

Johnson’s attorney, Murlene Randle, said testimony at the appeal hearing determined the department did not have a specific policy against helmet-camera recording.

If the reprimand had remained in place, Johnson’s ability to be promoted could have been hampered.

Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge declined to comment on the decision, saying it was a personnel matter.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, https://www.sfgate.com

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