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We contacted every state patrol in the nation and learned 20 states don’t issue bodycams to vast majority of their troopers

Some agencies' theories stand that everything happens in front of the cruiser. However, we discovered most shootings take place out of frame.

ATLANTA — The Georgia State Patrol doesn’t issue body cameras to the vast majority of its troopers.

11Alive Investigates was the first to reveal that 20 state patrols nationwide have resisted body cameras and that most shootings take place outside the frame of troopers’ dash cameras. 

11Alive has obtained several more previously unreleased dash cam recordings of GSP shootings missed by those cameras after requesting all non-fatal shootings from the last five years. In the newly-released videos, we found ten shootings by GSP; eight of them were missed by the troopers' dash cams. 

In some of the videos, an exchange of gunfire can be heard.

11Alive had already obtained all releasable videos from fatal shootings involving the GSP over the same time period. Out of the 11 fatal shootings, the dash cameras failed to capture the critical moments in nine of the videos. GSP would not do an interview, but internal documents showed an institutional resistance to body cameras inside the GSP.           

11Alive Investigates contacted every state patrol in the nation and learned that 20 states don’t issue body cameras to most of their troopers.

Some of those state patrols, like in Missouri, where they still rely on dash cameras, are actively trying to give every state trooper a body camera, unlike Iowa over here, where they have no interest in using body cameras. In response to several questions we asked, the Iowa State Patrol responded, "we don’t use body-worn cameras."

The operating theory at those highway patrols is that everything happens before the cruiser. However, we discovered most shootings take place out of frame.

RELATED: FRAMED: Most trooper shootings occur off camera

In Colorado, every state trooper will wear a body camera by the end of this year, but it’s not by choice. It’s because they passed a state law in Colorado requiring all police officers to wear body cameras.

The GSP's go-to pursuit tactic —  the PIT maneuver — usually sends the car off camera to the cruiser's side. So, when shots are fired, the dash cam is facing away from the critical life-and-death exchange of gunfire.

In one incident, a suspect appears to pull out a gun, but the trooper’s actions are entirely off camera. Gunshots are heard, and you can see bullet holes in the car's windshield. The suspect also throws a gun out of the window. The suspect survived. 

Back-up officers from other agencies were wearing body cameras, but not the GSP trooper who was cleared because the dash cam captured the driver pulling the gun. 

Some of the videos requested were missing. The GSP had technical problems with its dashcam systems. Some pursuits and other critical videos have vanished. 11Alive reached out again to see if GSP would do an interview and to see if their body camera policy had changed since the first story and their last refusal to do an interview. This time, 11Alive received no response at all.

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