Maricopa County prosecutors must review video evidence before charging person with felony, new policy states

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is now requiring prosecutors to review any video that police have before charging someone with a felony.

County attorney Allister Adel announced the new policy, saying videos can be the most important evidence in a case.

"Video evidence, which may include evidence like officer body worn camera video, surveillance video, or cell phone videos, can be the single most important piece of evidence in a case when it captures the crime being committed or it is the basis for the identification of the person who committed the crime," said Adel in a statement. "This new policy ensures that prosecutors review the most relevant portions of any video evidence as early in the case as possible."

The new protocol is aimed at making sure prosecutors review footage as early as possible.

There are exceptions under the new rule if the suspect is a threat to the community, if there's other strong corroborating evidence and if there's a reasonable likelihood of conviction based on other evidence.

This was one of the recommendations made by an independent judge who reviewed controversial gang charges filed against a dozen protesters that were dismissed back in August.

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