Private Investigations and Personal Security/Is deleting my own video a felony?

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Question
Memphis, TN: A neighbor’s robbery is captured automatically on a private video from across the street. The robber gets away. The owner of the DVR, fearing retaliation from the robber, chooses not to contact the police.  He deletes the video. But the next day, the detective on the case visits the owner of the DVR.  When the owner tells the detective about the deletion, the detective tells the owner that deleting the video was tampering with evidence and that the owner has committed a felony. Is that true?

Answer
No this is not a felony and not even a crime. Private persons are under no obligation to assist the police in any investigation or to even report a crime.  This detective appears to be trying to apply unjust pressure to you in order to aid his investigation.  The DVR video can only be deemed evidence once the detective has legally recovered the item and booked it into the custody of his department evidence section.

I would advise the owner of the DVR to inform the detective that he is under no obligation to assist in his investigation and to further advise this detective that if he/she continues to threaten this owner in any manner whatsoever with arrest or detention that you will contact his police department internal affairs section and inform them of this detectives actions, which are most certainly against the police departments policy in one form or another.

Additionally inform the detective that for your own personal safety, you do not wish to become involved in this investigation as a witness, because you fear this burglar could return and commit an act of violence against you.

That should end your involvement in this matter.

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Warren Pulley

Expertise

I can answer all questions regarding law enforcement situations, private investigation questions, some military security and law enforcement related questions as well as(PMC's)private military armed contractor inquiries.

Experience

I have 12 years of law enforcement experience with the Los Angeles Police Department, I worked multiple patrol areas, gang details, undercover vice and surveillance operations, street level narcotics investigations and community relations units. I also have 7 years prior military law enforcement and security experience, as well as 4 years of state certified private investigator experience, 7 years of private military contracting experience in the static and mobile protection arena's. And I am the current owner of a full service personal protection company that operations in the Middle East, Central/South America, the United States and the European Union.

Organizations
Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, ASIS International,Asset Protection Network,Conflict Area Management,Executive Protective Institute,NGO Security Network Security Consultancy Network,Security Specialists Professional Network

Publications
PR Web, ABC7 Los Angeles - Local TV News, Noticas Channel 52 Los Angeles - Local TV News, Several nationwide TV broadcasts, PR Log, Briefing Wire, DatSyn News,

Education/Credentials
I have a BA in criminology, a POST certification from the State of California, a Los Angeles Police Department graduation diploma, a US Air Force security policeman certification, a prior State of California Private Investigator license and a U.S. Department of State worldwide protective services certification.

Awards and Honors
Military Education Ribbon, Small Arms Expert, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, US Air Force Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, NCO Professional Ribbon, Longevity Service Award, Outstanding Unit with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters.

Past/Present Clients
Safer Schools for America, Blu-Moon Security, CNUSD, HBUSD, and multiple confidential private clients.

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