FOP lawyer: don't judge surveillance video

The attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police is asking the public not to rush to judgment Thursday after video surfaced Wednesday of police officers beating a man outside a downtown nightclub. The mayor's office is calling for a full investigation into the matter.

Gayle Gear, the same lawyer who represented the five officers who lost their jobs after a 2008 police chase, said those officers were treated unfairly after a hasty decision was made. Gear hopes the officers in the new case will be treated differently.

She believes because the Birmingham Police and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation, the officers involved won't lose their jobs in a rush to judgment.

It appears Mayor William Bell isn't jumping to any conclusions in this case. Chuck Faush, the mayor's spokesman said the mayor saw the video and is disturbed by what he saw and is calling for a full investigation.

Gear said that from the previous case, she has learned that video is two-dimensional, especially without any audio, which can easily mislead the viewer.

"You've assumed he's putting up his hands and saying, I'm giving up. In fact, he easily could be putting up his hands saying, come get me."

But not using a Taser, mace or any weapons, the officers did use minimal force in restraining Travarious Daniel on March 20, Gear said.

She is also questioning Daniel's motive behind wanting the video released in the first place. She said he obviously didn't want the police to investigate the matter because he did not go through the proper channels the department has in place for situations just like this one.

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