Monday: Law agencies consider lapel cams
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Sunday, August 19, 2012
A Rogers County sheriff’s deputy happened to be wearing the agency’s only lapel camera when he and other officers responded to a call for help from a stranded woman whose story of their encounter went viral online and prompted death threats against deputies.
As a note circulated on Facebook alleging that deputies mistreated her and as hundreds of the website’s users responded with comments reproaching the agency, the Sheriff’s Office released the video.
It shows Tera Mattingly, 26, arguing and shouting expletives at the deputies after she, her 5-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old girl were locked into an Oologah Lake park at dusk July 21.
In posts on the Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page, hundreds of users said they supported deputies after seeing the video. Others apologized for jumping to conclusions.
“It was just a blessing that we actually had (a camera) that cleared things up,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jerry Smittle said. The negative reaction “would have been horrible for our agency.”
The camera — still the agency’s only one — is on loan from a private company, but the incident has spurred interest in equipping all Rogers County officers with such cameras.
It would be the latest in an increasing number of law enforcement agencies to do so.
Read more in Monday's Tulsa World.