Strengthening Court Evidence with Metadata
Unfortunately, much of modern policing takes place in the media. Even in court, an officer’s word does not seem to hold the weight it once did. Depending on the case, the officer could be fighting for his or her job. Having clear and convincing proof of an officer’s actions is more important than ever. Metadata can help.
What is Metadata?
Simply put, metadata is data that provides information about other data. Its primary purpose is to help users find relevant information by organizing and archiving data in a standardized way.
Metadata is a little like the Dewey Decimal System. Imagine the index card used in a library card catalog, listing the location and title of a book within the library. The card simply helps you determine if that book is the one you’re looking for and where the book is located.
In a similar way, metadata doesn’t replace data, it simply represents it.
Metadata and In-Car Video
Metadata provided by a proper in-car video system presents the current state of the vehicle. Some of it is optionally displayed in real-time on the system’s heads-up display – and archives previous states over time.
This metadata can be extremely useful, providing unbiased court evidence that answers key questions, such as the patrol vehicle’s speed and lightbar activity during a chase or leading up to a crash.
Metadata in the Field
If a patrol car collides with a citizen’s car in an intersection, the in-car video alone may not give enough information about the incident to the jury. Although the video could provide a loose indication of the patrol vehicle slowing, when the brakes were applied is unknown. Video footage showing reflections of the light bar in nearby objects indicates the officer turned on the lights, but when this occurred is left open to interpretation and debate.
Metadata changes that. With in-car video metadata, investigators have access to vital information about the vehicle, embedded in the captured video. The time and date it was captured, the speed the vehicle carrying the camera was traveling, and the GPS coordinates for the location of the incident. Multiple triggers, like brakes and lights, can be implemented in metadata capture.
Having simple clear facts that show the officer applied the brakes and slowed down prior to crossing the intersection can prove an officer followed policy and was not pursuing a suspect recklessly.
4RE Improves Court Evidence
WatchGuard’s robust 4RE in-car video system comes standard with vital metadata. With integrated systems and metadata, you not only get complete coverage of video, but your court evidence is strengthened with infallible hard data.
Contact us today to learn more about 4RE.