New Technology Affects Police Relations with Community

The South Carolina killing of an unarmed black man by a police officer is just the latest in a nation-wide focus on police brutality and racial unrest.

Athens Mayor Nancy Denson says better technology…such as body cameras on police officers …leave little to the imagination and show the whole truth.

Nancy Denson says, “body cameras protect police officers and also protect the community. There is no question of the interaction.”

5 years ago, the eyes of the nation were on Athens. Convicted killer Jamie Hood admits he murdered police officer Buddy Christian and injured a second officer.

Mayor Densens said it was the saddest day she’s ever experienced as mayor.

TV news reporter Addie Hampton covered the story and remembers Jamie Hood requesting an insurance policy…to surrender to police on live television.

Hampton said, “He [Hood] said he was afraid he would get shot if he didn’t come out with the cameras rolling”

One of the men Jamie Hood held hostage in 2011 wasn’t angry. He said Hood was just trying to get even… Quinton Riden said in 2011 after being rescued from Hood’s holding, “He did that for a change… for law enforcement. If law enforcement killed his brother back in the day and he just wanted to show them how it felt to lose one.”

Mayor Denson says she’s not sure that body cameras would have changed the outcome of the Hood case, but she hopes their continued use here in Athens will prevent other fatal tragedies like the hood case…and the tragedy Charleston is facing today.

The jury selection for the Hood trial will begin on June 1st.