TEMPE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - According to Tempe Police 19-year-old Dalvin Hollins crossed paths with a Tempe Police Lieutenant as he was running from another officer. The Lieutenant believed Hollins was armed with a gun. The only account of what happened during the scuffle between the two will be the Lieutenant's word because Hollins is dead. The Lieutenant also did not have a body camera on during the shooting.
Over the past few years, body cameras have given the public a first-hand view of the situations that police face every day. Each department has their own policy regarding body-worn cameras. Generally, the policies state that officer safety comes first before activating the cameras.
"If I'm dealing with the world around me, I may not be in a situation where it's safe to look down, to see if it's on, because I got to keep my head up, and I've gotta keep my eyes up," said Lon Bartel.
Some policies also require officers to explain why they did not activate their cameras.
"You got somebody with a gun; you're more worried about getting your weapon out and getting into a position that is safe, than reaching down and pushing a button on your chest. Because my vision is focused on this individual, who is trying to harm me or other individuals. So to say that we've got to punish, it's not realistic," said Bartel.
"If there is a body camera on that law enforcement officer, and the department has set the standard to have cameras, we should expect our officers to wear the camera and turn it on," said Rep. Reginald Bolding.
Rep. Bolding is working on a bill to set a statewide standard for the use of body cameras for officers. He says officers should be held accountable if they don't turn on their cameras.
"At the end of the day if we have the body cameras on officers, and they're not turned on, what's the use of using taxpayer dollars," said Bolding.
Tempe Police say the Lieutenant involved has not been interviewed yet, so they could not provide answers why his camera was not turned on. The Lieutenant has been with the department for 19 years and was treated for minor injuries. He's now on paid administrative leave.