Body cam video shows Balch Springs officer's encounter with suspect

The Balch Springs Police Department is the latest in North Texas to outfit its officers with body cameras, and the addition helped illustrate an officer's recent encounter with a suspect who disobeyed commands.

The cameras help to see what an officer experiences. Balch Springs purchased 30 of them, and they were issued in late December.

State Sen. Royce West wants every patrol officer in the State of Texas to wear the cameras.

"Right after we issued them out, an officer come to me talking about how he loved it and it's the greatest thing we've ever done," said Lt. Mark Maret with the Balch Springs Police Department.

"You think these will help you do your business better?" FOX 4's Shaun Rabb asked Maret.

"I think so," said Maret. "We implemented these in hopes of the evidence…more evidence in criminal cases."

In recent video from a Balch Springs officer's body camera, the officer is heard several times telling a car theft suspect to lie on the ground. The suspect doesn't obey the commands.

Instead, he says he didn't steal the car and puts his hands in his pockets.

"Get on the ground!" the officer says. "Don't reach in your pocket, [expletive]! I will kill you! Get on the ground!"

The suspect eventually turns and runs away. The officer then re-holsters his weapon, and a foot chase ensues.

"He kept sticking his hands in in pockets; you don't know what he's gonna come out with," said Maret. "The officer did a real good job of holding his composure."

Police eventually caught the suspect. He did not have a gun.

Right now, Balch Springs police will save body camera video for 90 days.

They aren't sure what state lawmakers have in mind for body cameras. Dash cameras came about initially because of racial profiling complaints.

Earlier this week, FOX 4 ran a story about a Duncanville police officer's last-minute judgment call that kept a teenager alive during a recent encounter that was caught on dash camera.

In that scenario, the teen had a BB gun with him that the officer thought was a real gun.

The teen and two others he was with did not obey the officer's commands to get on the ground. The officer made the call not to shoot the teen.


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