Top. Men. Lose 15 Month of Evidence


Oopsie. Don’t you just hate it when you have a server crash and you lose 15 months worth of police body cam and dash cam footage ? Gosh. Good thing the King’s Men never do anything wrong. We can totally take their word on it.

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. — The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) says computer servers containing uploaded data, including data from dashboard cameras, has crashed. The data is unrecoverable, and this could have major implications for dozens of legal cases.

I bet we can all guess exactly what kind of cases… I’m no tech wiz, but I have serious doubt there is such a thing as “unrecoverable data” in this day and age.

HCSO spokeswoman Rachel Frizzell says in January, HCSO’s Offce Networking Specialists were performing routine maintenance on in-house servers and noticed they were operating very slowly when restarting the server processing in-car videos.

A closer look and a consultation with operating and backup software manufacturers revealed that an abnormal number of backup snapshots had accumulated on the server.

Frizzell says, “Under the direction of the manufacturer of the software we initiated a consolidation process that did not correct the issue.”

Frizzel says HCSO networking specialists worked with the manufacturers of the software in use and ultimately identified and sent the data drives to a company that specializes in recovery.

But Frizzell says recovery was unsuccessful, meaning the data on those servers is now lost forever. How ’bout that?

Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston says some cases could be dismissed after 15 months of video evidence from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office was lost after a server crash.

In an interview Monday morning, Attorney Robin Flores address the lost footage and what it could do to his current cases he’s representing.

“What’s critical is the unblinking eye of video, if it’s there, and it could be lost,” says Flores. We need a more powerful panopcticon obviously.

And here we get to the real matter.

“Going back to 1985 being in the justice system as a cop, lawyer, or law student, I have not seen this amount of evidence disappear,” says Flores.

Flores says that disappearance could change the end result of several lawsuits against the sheriff’s office.



  1. As an IT type guy I will say that yes, data can be lost without even a hint of recovery being possible.

    Especially when you don’t have anyone that knows what they’re doing running your “backups” and servers. There are a lot of different pieces that have to work properly for it all to function, and if you’re not monitoring your backups for backup failures, testing that your backups are actually working, verifying that your backups are actually backing up the data & not the OS, etc. Backup & recovery in even a small company can be a full time job. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, it won’t really work. But it’s imperative for business continuity and too many businesses fail to comprehend that.

    Aside from the backup failures: when your server is saying that one of the disks has failed in your data array, you need to replace it immediately. Depending on if the array has any redundancy, and what level of redundancy, losing that first disk can lose data or you need to lose a second disk to lose data. This can be relatively simple, or extremely complex and can’t be left to someone who has other “primary duties”. Not recognizing the failure should be grounds for termination. Not fixing the issue should be grounds for termination.

    TLDR: If you don’t have people whose responsibilities it is to perform these services on a daily basis; who know what they’re doing; care about doing it correctly; you’re going to have these failures. In the business world this would cause the business to fold, in government it’s an “oops” and nobody gets fired for incompetence.


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