Body-camera footage captured by Estill Police Officer Quincy Smith that helped lead to the conviction of his would-be killer has gone viral and rekindled debate about officers’ use of recording devices.
Grateful this officer took it upon himself to buy a camera for himself. Sad he had to. Many departments have no funding for body cams. https://t.co/Y9EpAxZr2N— Scarlett Wilson (@ScarlettAWilson) August 13, 2017
Millions of YouTube and Facebook users have viewed video that showed Smith approaching a robbery suspect after receiving a call for service on New Year’s Day 2016. Malcolm Orr did not heed Smith’s order to stop, but instead kept walking with one hand pressing a cellphone to his ear and the other concealed in his jacket pocket.
Orr then pulls a 9 mm handgun from the pocket and fired eight shots at Smith, striking the officer three times and sending him scrambling for his life back to his police cruiser.
The footage was viewed about 3.9 million times on the Facebook page of the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which released the video after successfully prosecuting Orr for attempted murder in a Hampton County court last week.
The footage was also picked up by media outlets around the world.
The video was prominently featured in Solicitor Duffie Stone’s closing argument, which helped secure a maximum sentence for Orr. Smith recorded the incident using a camera mounted on eyeglasses, which he purchased himself for $30 on Amazon.
Smith said during Orr’s trial that “it was the best $30 I have ever spent.” South Carolina passed a law in June 2015 that requires law-enforcement officers to use body-worn cameras, but it makes exceptions for departments unable to afford equipment.
“Smith’s experience illustrates why, though some police officers have opposed the spreading use of body cameras, Smith and others have paid for them out of their own pockets,” Fortune magazine noted in an article Aug. 11.
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson also noted Smith purchased his own camera in a tweet on her account Aug. 13.
Stone’s closing argument, which was recorded by his office’s communications staff and distributed to media, has also been widely featured in the media. It has received more than a quarter million views on Facebook.
A rundown of some of the media outlets who have used the footage: