by Max Brantley
I mentioned and posted yesterday a brief video clip that turned up in an FOI request of dash video records from the Little Rock police cruiser of Officer Chris Johannes, one of the officers involved in the bust — about seven hours before the video was made — of Surgeon General Joe Thompson.
I received today a response to inquiry about circumstances to Lt. Terry Hastings. His response:
He was at the UAMS ER guarding the vehicle that was involved in the Rick’s Armory shooting that night. He was waiting on Crime Scene and Detectives to process the vehicle and interview witnesses in the ER. When you see the Crime Scene Truck pass in front of his car, he activates his blue lights to let the Crime Scene Technicians know where he is. When that happens, the MVR records 1 minute before they are activated. There was also a UAMS officer there with him and their conversation was not picked up by the MVR. He had not had time for a meal all night due to the call load so he had an officer pick him up some food and was eating while guarding the vehicle. When the blue lights were activated, it caught the sound of a funny video on You Tube being played on a cell phone by one of the officers.
Our officers cannot watch TV or play videos on duty unless they are on a meal break. The video that was played on a phone was only a few seconds long and he was on a meal break even though he was guarding a car. The video posted on You Tube does not explain the circumstances and is accusatory of the officers at a crime scene. I cannot tell if the video posted has been manipulated. The person who posted this did not ask what the circumstances were and probably did not care. He is not wasting tax dollars as the video heading would have you believe.
Coincidentally, the comedy dialogue heard on the tape seems to bear a connection to a degree with the activity of a man seen in the distance from the cruiser.