Traverse City Record-Eagle

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October 30, 2013

No police video of Estes arrest

TRAVERSE CITY — Patrol car video footage from Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes’ drunken driving arrest may be lost.

Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said the officer’s camera captured the Oct. 23 traffic stop and subsequent arrest, but a technical issue prevented it from being downloaded into the station’s computer. He said the patrol vehicle had similar problems before the incident.

“As far as I know, it’s the only one with the issue,” he said.

City police recently switched over to a new camera system that automatically downloads footage when patrol cars return to the station. The Record-Eagle filed a Freedom of Information Act request for any footage depicting Estes’ arrest.

Ayling said the car’s camera system problems started after the changeover and continued into last week. He didn’t know whether the footage is still on the camera or was permanently erased, but said it might be salvaged.

“For some reason his camera is not connecting to the server,” he said.

Police Chief Michael Warren and Capt. Brian Heffner, who oversaw the camera changeover, didn’t return calls for comment.

Estes is scheduled to appear for an 86th District Court arraignment on Nov. 4, one day before Traverse City voters go to the polls and decide whether to re-elect him for a second consecutive two-year term.

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