On Monday, March 2, local defense attorney and partner at Cavett, Abbott, and Weiss, John Cavett, spoke to WRCB regarding the recent Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office dashcam data loss. Early this year, in January, a significant amount of dashcam footage was lost when HCSO Networking Specialists were performing routine maintenance. The data loss stemmed from a server crash, which is being blamed for the loss of thousands dash camera videos. Cavett states that several criminal and civil court cases in Hamilton County could be impacted by this loss. 

HCSO explained in a press release that “the department lost nearly a year and a half worth of data while they were trying to fix a backlog problem at the end of January.” Cavett’s major concern is why people are just now learning about the loss that occurred over one month ago. During the interview with WRCB he stated, “For over a month, it’s been gone and we didn’t know about it.” 

The County Sheriff’s Office mentioned that they previously sent the data drives to a recovery company, which was ultimately unsuccessful in restoring the data. Channel 3 reached out to the recovery company to verify, but they did not respond. As of right now, the HCSO remains unable to recover this valuable footage. 

Cavett went on to explain that the server footage is critical evidence in many cases. Because the cameras face forward towards the front of each car, they can capture a good majority of what occurs during each situation. Even in the dark, these cameras can capture much of the action that occurs, making them critical to many legal cases. 

Referencing a class-action lawsuit against former Hamilton County Deputy Daniel Wilkey, Cavett explained the video “builds the case and ensures transparency.” He claims that if the officer had done something illegal, the video would have captured it all. 

In an effort to find some sort of resolution, “Cavett filed a motion asking a judge to order the county to keep all of the equipment used to store the video evidence.” Cavett says he feels uncomfortable knowing that this situation took so long to address. 

“I thought people who had pending cases that might be affected by this loss would’ve been notified a lot sooner,” Cavett stated. As a Chattanooga defense attorney, video evidence is critical for someone like John Cavett and his clients. Without solid evidence, like that found in videos, it’s difficult to make a real case in a courtroom. 

John Cavett, Chattanooga defense attorney, focuses in areas of real estate, criminal defense, music entertainment, and commercial law. He has represented both state and federal cases in Tennessee, Florida, and the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Here at Cavett, Abbott, and Weiss, our team focuses primarily on criminal defense, with additional areas in entertainment law, real estate litigation, commercial disputes, and more. We are committed to providing effective, efficient, and reliable counsel during trials. With over 60 years of combined experience, our team is here to help represent you in cases from DUIs to death penalties. If you are in need of a Chattanooga defense attorney, contact Cavett, Abbott, and Weiss to schedule a consultation today.