Bodycam allegedly records deputy stealing cash

Commentary: A Florida sheriff's deputy is charged with taking money from people he'd arrested after his own bodycam footage allegedly gave him away.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


It's worth remembering that bodycams can film everything.

Jim Watson /AFP/Getty Images

Citizens and police departments alike endorse bodycams because they preserve vital evidence of officer behavior.

Then there's John Braman.

This former Florida deputy sheriff from Volusia County has been charged with stealing money from people he'd arrested. The evidence allegedly comes from his own bodycam and that of a fellow officer.

As the Daytona News-Journal reported last week, Braman has been charged with five felonies, including grand theft. He's accused of taking as much as $600 from one person he arrested. 

He resigned in January after video emerged of one of the alleged incidents. Yes, bodycam video. 

Some activists are concerned that police bodycams can get switched off during controversial incidents. But Braman's actions may show that a bodycam can be like a seat belt.  You simply forget it's there. 

Suspicions first arose when an arrestee's lawyer happened to see Braman's bodycam footage.

At the time of Braman's resignation in January, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood called him a "thieving idiot." Chitwood went even further Thursday -- on Twitter, no less. 

"John Braman is a common thief who has no business working in law enforcement," Chitwood said in his tweeted statement. He called the case an "embarrassment" and added that a "thieving cop deserves to go to jail just like any other criminal."

Eighteen cases in which Braman was involved have been dropped. The sheriff has also melted his badge.

Braman's attorney didn't respond to a request for comment.   

For law enforcement officers, bodycams aren't always about controversy. They can also record heroics. Witness the Kansas officer who saved a 4-year-old boy with autism from drowning last month.  

Please remember, then, should you be an officer. That bodycam may catch you at your best moment -- and it may catch you at your worst. Just make sure your worst moment is either tripping over your own feet or letting ice cream drip onto your uniform.

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