State lawmaker discusses transparency after Planet Fitness shooting involving Madison Police

Ball doesn’t have any plans to try and change the law in regards to body cameras he did tell me he is looking into bills forcing more transparency.

Posted: Nov 1, 2019 6:19 PM

The Madison County sheriff's office told WAAY 31 there are no updates in the shooting in the Planet Fitness parking lot where Madison police shot and killed Dana Fletcher.

In an email, a spokesman stressed quote, “"there is irrefutable evidence on video of Mr. Fletcher with a gun in his hand and pointing at officer," he said.

But, a woman claiming to be Fletcher's wife took to Facebook saying her husband was unarmed.

Madison police wear body cameras that will show the truth, but Alabama law lets investigators stop you from seeing it. It’s an issue the WAAY 31 I-Team started telling you about three years ago.

WAAY 31 asked one local lawmaker on Friday if this shooting could force changes to the law. State Representative Mike Ball lives in Madison and also spent the majority of his career in law enforcement...

"I was an agent with the major crimes unit Alabama Bureau of Investigation which did a lot of police use of force investigations," he said.

WAAY 31 asked him what some of you are asking us about a lack of transparency in the investigation. Five officers responded to the Planet fitness on highway 72 in Madison last Sunday. Two of them shot at Dana Fletcher. Ball said sheriff's office investigators have a lot of work on their plate.

"To get as many of the facts as you can, put them all together, and get the circumstances in context and listen to all the evidence," he said.

Ball says he understands the community's concern over transparency, but says you need to put your trust in authorities.

"I certainly understand the passion and why there is an outcry. I mean Alabama has a history of law enforcement misconduct, but it's continued to improve," he said.

He does question the current law that says body camera video doesn't ever have to be released to the public.

"I haven't seen a good reason to keep it suppressed forever after any enforcement actions have been adjudicated," he said.

But as of now, Ball doesn’t have any plans to try and change the law in regards to body cameras he did tell me he is looking into bills forcing more transparency.

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