BODY CAMERAS: Raw footage shows sad reality

It is horrifyingly sad to view what happened when a Fredonia police officer shot another man in self-defense on a cloudy December Monday afternoon. The video, released during the press conference on Friday in the village where county District Attorney Patrick Swanson announced the officer would not be charged, was taken by a body camera.

Ironically, the Erie County Sheriff’s Department is fighting the technology. Sheriff Timothy B. Howard told The Buffalo News at almost the same time as the Fredonia incident that adopting the cameras “isn’t my highest priority.”

That is unfortunate for his staff and the public he serves. In the Fredonia case, the Dec. 10 shooting incident is documented on video. It is not just one person’s word against another.

And yes, as tragic as it is, it makes clear the officer firing the shot had very few options in a short period of time.