Video Transcript

Tom Lemons:

Videos like these are captured every day by law enforcement officers who wear body cameras. And legal experts say there’s no better evidence than video when it comes to proving guilt or innocence, and preventing false allegations. An Orlando man says that’s exactly why he uses a body camera during child exchanges with his ex-girlfriend.

Michael David:

False allegations of domestic violence, so creates a lot of trauma, a lot of anxiety, the day of the exchanges. It’s best to be hands free and have witnesses there to record while I actually execute the exchanges. If you’re trying to record, dial 911, and then find a place of protection.

Tom Lemons:

According to a Senate review of protective injunctions, a panel of judges determined that false or meritless petitions are filed more often than people might think. A Massachusetts trial court determined that less than half of all petitions contained allegations of actual violence. And a study in West Virginia found that 81% of petitions were unnecessary or false.

Michael David:

Some of my friends and family said, “You got to be real careful.” I was like, “Why do I have to be careful?” They were like, “She could accuse you of anything.” And I said, “No, it’s different. It’s different with domestic violence.” A lot of my friends have gone through similar situations where they’re either fighting with their girlfriend or their wife and it’s a verbal and then he’s oftentimes arrested for something that he didn’t do.

Tom Lemons:

Michael claims his ex-girlfriend has a history of violence and law enforcement will not respond to child exchanges unless a crime is being alleged, leaving Michael with no choice, but to wear a body camera.

Michael David:

There is a stalking and harassment injunction, she would find out where I was. And when she was arrested a couple of years later for domestic violence for beating up her mother and I called the Sheriff’s office, I said, “Hey, I need some help here. I’m expecting trouble.” It’s not fun calling law enforcement, it’s not fun calling law enforcement as a man and saying, “Hey, I need an escort. I need help to prevent me from being falsely alleged of something I didn’t do.”

Tom Lemons:

Obtaining a domestic violence injunction is not difficult in Florida, with most judges erring on the side of caution until a formal hearing can be held between both parties. But Michael says he’ll have video evidence to prove his innocence if he’s ever accused of a crime.

Michael David:

Yeah. When it comes to false allegations, you definitely don’t have the innocent until proven guilty and beyond a reasonable doubt standard. You definitely need to have video evidence to keep yourself, protect your livelihood, to protect your career, to protect your relationship with your child. How are you supposed to co-parent a child when you’re always being called names, and it’s not about your convenience, it’s about the child’s best interest and best lifetime opportunities and outcomes. And any folks out there that may be listening to this, you’re able to get these body cameras off Amazon for 50 bucks.

Tom Lemons:

Privacy laws in each state varies as it pertains to audio and video recording someone without permission. Florida requires two party consent for audio recording, but there’s no presumption of privacy outdoors when it comes to video recording. You should check with your attorney or state law before using a body camera. Reporting from Orlando. I’m Tom Lemons.

confidential





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