TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Quick Facts:
Tahlequah officer Randy Tanner shot Joshua Crittenden in 2015
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation ruled the shooting justified
The family filed an excessive lawsuit against the department
The family’s attorney believes 2 of 4 body cameras from the scene were physically destroyed
The department’s attorney claims the video was never recorded
The family of a man killed in a 2015 officer-involved shooting believes state investigators didn’t have all the possible information in the case.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation ruled the shooting of Joshua Crittenden by officer Randy Tanner justified. Crittenden’s family says Tanner used excessive foce.
As their lawyer looked into the case for a civil lawsuit against the department, he says he found out cameras involved in the case were destroyed. Attorney Scott Wood says of the four cameras on scene during the shooting, two never rolled, one began filming after the shooting, and another ran from beginning to end but missed the shooting.
Daniel Smolen, representing the Crittenden family, believes two of the cameras were physically destroyed.
Assistant Chief of Police Steven Garner was in charge of officer’s body cameras at the time.
During Garner’s deposition, he said the cameras were destroyed and original video never uploaded to the server.
Wood, representing the department, says that is untrue and questioned why video that was never recorded would be destroyed.
Garner also claims two SD cards from the shooting disappeared before OSBI could look at them. He also said serial numbers on cameras appeared to be rubbed off, but he could not say when that happened.
Woods countered the cards were corrupted and the serial numbers rubbed from wear and tear.
Woods told FOX23 that his clients violated police policy by not recording video when they first arrived.
The Cherokee District Attorney says Garner’s deposition prompted them to reopen the case.