Nearly six years after Arkansas police Officer Jonathan Schmidt was shot to death while pleading for his life, a dashcam video of his final moments still circulates on the internet — sometimes landing in the social media feeds of his family members, reports the Associated Press.
"It's a very sacred thing," the officer's widow, Andrea Schmidt, said Wednesday. "It's not just a cop getting killed. This is a human being. This is my husband. This is a father."
Now a newly elected Arkansas legislator, a former deputy prosecutor who used the tape to help put Schmidt's killer on death row, wants to prevent other families from suffering. The first bill he introduced since joining the House would prevent the broad release of material showing officers dying in the line of duty.
Gazaway was a prosecutor when the Trumann Police Department distributed the 20-minute recording. The video typically shows up in the family's social media feeds around April 12, the day of the shooting.
Under the bill, which passed the House on a 94-0 vote Monday, video showing a law enforcement officer's death would be released only if a court decides the public interest outweighs the desire for government secrecy.