BRPD to release witness video, audio from alleged officer-involved shootout
UPDATE: Chief Murphy Paul says the department plans to release witness video and audio from the police unit's rear camera Wednesday.
BATON ROUGE - Three weeks after a Baton Rouge police officer was allegedly involved in a shootout with a suspect, Police Chief Murphy Paul says that officer's body camera was not recording at the time of the confrontation.
The news comes little more than a week after BRPD announced a new policy intended to improve transparency at the department. Paul had announced last week that all body cam and in-car footage from "critical incidents" would be released within 12 days unless its release would interfere with the integrity of the investigation or the prosecution.
But the chief announced Tuesday that wouldn't be the case in the shootout involving Officer Yuseff Hamadeh earlier this month. That's because there is nothing to release. Hamadeh's body camera and in-car camera were not rolling when the officer exchanged gunfire with a fleeing suspect, identified as Raheem Howard, after he fled a traffic stop on N.15th Street.
Chief Paul says the car's rear camera was on but was facing downward and didn't capture any video of the incident. Investigators are now examining audio from that recording as well as video of the traffic stop provided by a witness.
Police refuse to say whether they recovered the gun of the man accused of firing at the officer.
Hamadeh was cleared in another shooting that stemmed from a traffic stop in June 2017, which resulted in the death of Jordan Frazier. Hamadeh shot Frazier, who police say stepped out of his car with a gun in his hand. Investigators later determined that gun was stolen.
Police discovered Frazier was also in possession of ecstasy at the time of the shooting.
Hamadeh is a 2-year veteran in the Street Crimes Unit. He was placed on paid lead while BRPD investigated the recent shootout, but he is now back at work on restricted duty.