These days, it seems like everything we do is being videotaped. Between the increase in security cameras on the streets and the smartphones in people’s pockets, there are few public and semi-public places in Michigan where you are not being filmed, or at least could soon be.
This has led to video evidence being part of criminal law more and more. Many people assume that a video is always conclusive evidence of what happened. However, context matters. A video may not reveal the entire scene or may leave out what was going right before or after the incident.
A Grand Rapids woman who worked at a nursing home has pleaded not guilty to a charge of abuse of a vulnerable adult. Prosecutors say a videotape from the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans shows the woman pushing an elderly man’s wheelchair into a desk and hurting his knee.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the video appears to show the woman trying to calm down the man, who was agitated. The woman then grasps the handles on the man’s wheelchair and pushes him forward until his arm and knees hit a desk.
The woman denies that she intended to injure the man. She said that she would never abuse one of the residents in her care, and that she was trying to get the man “off me.”
It is the prosecution’s burden in any criminal trial to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high burden of proof, but anyone facing criminal charges needs the support of an experienced defense attorney.