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Attorney for Tony McDade sues State Attorney Jack Campbell to get body cam videos released

Posted at 3:02 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 15:02:48-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Mutaqee Akbar, the attorney representing Tony McDade, has sued State Attorney Jack Campbell in an effort to get body cam footage associated with the deadly officer-involved shooting of McDade on May 27.

Akbar filed the lawsuit in Leon County court on June 22. He is also seeking to get the body cam video released in the fatal officer-involved shooting of Mychael Johnson on March 20.

The lawsuit contends that failing to release the videos violates Florida's public records law.

On June 2, Akbar requested the videos be released. According to the lawsuit, that request was denied the same day by the State Attorney's office on the grounds that releasing the videos would be "unethical" and that the videos are exempt under "criminal investigative exemption."

In the lawsuit, Akbar contends that the videos' release is needed for transparency.

"There is also a compelling interest to release the bodycam videos to start the process of healing in the communities affected by police shooting; as it is evident by the national news that these events are traumatic and often affect how citizens respond to law enforcement," Akbar wrote in the suit.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction for the immediate release of the body cam videos in both cases.