Judge issues split ruling on release of police body camera video in Bath incidentStaff Report
September 04. 2015 3:02PM
CONCORD — Active retired Superior Court Judge Peter Fauver Friday ruled that portions of the body camera video showing the fatal shooting of Canterbury resident Hagen Esty-Lennon will be redacted before the video is released.
But Fauver said all the audio will be released, as will all the video from a cruiser camera and the body camera of an officer who remained at a distance from Esty-Lennon as he allegedly charged two Haverhill police officers and was shot multiple times.
The estate of Esty-Lennon had sought to block release of the video, citing its potential effect on Esty-Lennon's two minor children.
News organizations, including the New Hampshire Union Leader, had sought full release of the videos under the state's right-to-know law.
Fauver said in his decision that the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office will do the redacting of approximately four minutes of video from the cameras of the two officers who shot Esty-Lennon.
The video to be redacted shows up-close images of the officers shooting Esty-Lennon, him bleeding profusely while lying on the ground, him being turned over to be secured in handcuffs, the knife being removed from his hand and medical responders placing him on a stretcher and into an ambulance.
Fauver wrote that Esty-Lennon's family "has a strong privacy interest in preventing the release of these disturbing death-scene images."
The Attorney General's Office ruled the shooting was justified.
Police were responding to a crash when Esty-Lennon, who had a knife wound to the chest, charged the Haverhill officers with a knife in his hand and refused to stop, the Attorney General’s Office reported.
Fauver ordered the Attorney General's Office to submit the proposed redacted versions of the videos to the court by Sept. 14.
Absent further order, Fauver wrote, the redacted videos and full audio shall be released Sept. 21.