I don’t think the judge should have ordered the release of the Chatman shooting, not because I believe the police officers shouldn’t have to be accountable to the public for their decisions, but because the legal process is not complete, and for that matter, neither is the footage of the incident.
Releasing footage before the legal process is complete interferes with the legal system and invites the whole city, in effect, to be the jury, By making these videos public, it almost ensures that the jury will be highly swayed by what the opinions they see on social media and hear from friends—all of which are emotionally driven rather than logically founded, and mob mentality takes a central role. Within the legal system, it is important that the jury be well-informed, not influenced by public opinion.
Incomplete footage should not be released because what is seen is not exactly what happened, but rather a part—an out-of-context part that could actually be very different from what really happened. But because watching someone get shot down is so emotionally-charged, it would be impossible for anyone who sees it not to form opinions. And because these opinions are formed on incomplete facts, they will neither be accurate nor constructive. I think that where footage is complete, the public has a right to see it once the legal actions are completed. If an officer shoots or kills without sufficient reason, he or she should receive serious discipline and training. That would be constructive. But where it is incomplete, releasing the footage is simply destructive.