Cyber attack on Atlanta's network wiped out critical police evidence

Local attorneys said they’re concerned after finding out the cyber attack on the city of Atlanta’s network wiped out potentially critical police video evidence.

Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Aaron Diamant was first to confirm that the massive cyber attack on the city wiped out the Atlanta Police Department’s dashcam archive.

“It’s a big deal, arguably to both sides,” attorney Manny Arora told Diamant on Monday.

Arora, like others in metro Atlanta’s legal community, is still assessing the impact on cases.

"It's going to most likely favor the state a little bit more because now it's going to be the officer's word about what happened on the street versus what the defendant has to say," Arora said. "And traditionally, the jurors are going to believe the officer more than somebody else accused of a crime."

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When Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields made the announcement on Friday, she didn't seem overly concerned.

"I'm not overly concerned. I'm really not. That's a tool, a useful tool, but the dashcam doesn't make cases for us," Shields told Diamant.

Local defense attorney Gerald Griggs doesn't necessarily agree.

"It definitely makes or breaks a case. I mean, you cannot believe just what somebody says in a police report," Griggs said. "You have to actually see witnesses. But you also have to see the actual physical evidence, and nothing captures that better than dashboard cameras."

The impact won't just be felt on DUI cases.

"You've got car chase. You've got car stops. You've got searches of people on the side of the road," Arora said.

Aside from losing the dashcam video archive, Shields said, the department has mostly recovered from the cyber attack.

She said, as far as she knows, the department has recovered all of its criminal investigative files.

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