Criminals Caught On Tape

Regional labs highlight Enforcement Expo video analysis presentation

Upon Frederick's examination of the video, he discovered an encoding error. "The system didn't know where to place the suspect as he was walking forward, so it recovered an image that had occurred a few moments earlier and just represented it, making it look like he had stepped backwards," he describes.

Fredericks demonstrated that all the motion, lighting and reflection artifacts, as well as every pixel, were the same between the two frames - something that only occurs when the second frame is a reproduction of the first. "This was instrumental in proving the video was inaccurate and was not what occurred, which is why the police officer made his decision to fire," explains Fredericks. "Had the video not been properly interpreted, that officer would probably be in jail today."

Rewarding work
It is this Michigan case, and others like it, which makes Fredericks' work so rewarding. While traveling as the digital media consultant for the IACP's In-car Camera Project, Fredericks has been asked to consult on many homicides of police officers. "You'd be surprised how many police officers are murdered in the course of their duty and the amount of evidence which is captured on video," he says.

In cases in which there appeared to be no evidence initially, Fredericks has been able to identify suspects, vehicles of interest and other information which led to the identification, location and conviction of cop killers. "I've been able to help the video speak for the officer when the officer is not able to speak for himself," he says.

A former police officer, canine handler and coordinator of the Vancouver (British Columbia) Police Forensic Video Unit, Fredericks has lived law enforcement from many different angles, and this "is easily the most rewarding law enforcement job I've ever had."

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