Arizona Police Dept. Releases Body Cam Footage of Officer Killing
A still from the body camera of Officer Tyler Stewart, released by Flagstaff Police Department, showing shooting suspect Robert Smith, according to police.

The death of Officer Stewart rattled the small mountain town of Flagstaff, Arizona. Officer Stewart was responding to a domestic violence call. After Officer Stewart had a conversation with the suspect, the suspect pulled out a revolver and shot Stewart. He then turned the gun on himself.

Flagstaff Police Department released Office Stewart’s body camera footage, showing the brutal killing. According to a report by the LA Times, members of Flagstaff PD were showed the video footage and the Stewart family was notified before it was released to the general public.

Although releasing this footage serves to educate the public and address unanswered questions, I think it’s irresponsible on the part of the Police Department. Officer Stewart lost his life in the line of duty. He had a short lived life. He left behind loved ones. The public knows how he died; they don’t need to see the YouTube videos of his murder.

The only time video footage like this should be released should be in a courtroom, if and when a suspect is being convicted. Allowing the media to spread this footage encourages other men and women to harm our law enforcement officers. They see people who committed a similar act receive attention in the media. Then they want that “attention” and “stardom” they would otherwise fail to see.

I have always been proud to have called Flagstaff my home during college. I’ve always considered it my second home but I’m absolutely appalled by FPD’s decision to release such sensitive material.

May Officer Stewart’s memory live on in his family, friends and loved ones and not through the eyes of the media.

Beth Baumann

Beth Baumann is a California native, who grew up with an interest in politics from a young age. Beth attended Northern Arizona University, where she was a member of the NAU Conservatives, an activist organization dedicating to spreading conservative ideals. She also founded the NAU chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, took part in the Flagstaff Smart Girl Politics chapter and helped a local conservative run for Flagstaff City Council. Beth has received national attention due to the First Amendment restrictions on her college campus. She defended her Freedom of Speech when she was ridiculed for handing out flags in remembrance of 9/11. Although she faced misconduct charges, up to and including expulsion, she stood by her Constitutional rights and beliefs. With the help of the Leadership Institute and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), she was eventually exonerated of all charges. During her tenure, she was copy editor for the newspaper, marketing director and film festival director for the campus TV station, and news correspondent for political talk radio. Beth was the Communications Assistant at The American Conservative Union, where she helped with planning and executing different aspects of CPAC 2014, including social media, media strategy and crisis management. Beth works at a well established public relations firm in Southern California. Her work has been featured in The Daily Caller, The Washington Times, World Net Daily and Human Events. Follow Beth on Twitter: @eb454

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