FOX 8 Investigates: Beating victim questions why video of incident was never released

FOX 8 Investigates: Beating victim questions why video of incident was never released

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The victim of a brutal beating and robbery in the French Quarter says he wants the public to see what happened to him just a block from home. The man is speaking out after our first investigation revealed that the NOPD doesn't always release surveillance video of crimes in the quarter.

Starkey Kean finds himself constantly looking over his shoulder. Last November, two men brutally attacked Kean on Gov. Nicholls Street while he walked home from work.

FOX 8 obtained video of the attack, which was never released to the public.

"I had a concussion, I had a cracked skull, I had broken teeth and I had a lumbar injury and nerve injury in my back," Kean said.

We first showed you the video during our initial investigation two weeks ago.

Some French Quarter residents say they're upset that the NOPD doesn't release all videos it possesses of crimes in the Quarter. Videos that they believe could help track down suspects.

"People are going to see his mannerisms, his clothing, his look, and...the more information you can give people, the quicker the NOPD is going to close in," said resident Larry Lane, who routinely helps the police department find and enhance video of crimes.

In this case, NOPD detectives did release video of the suspects crossing a street. But in the portion of the surveillance video that we have, you can see one of the suspect's has a distinctive walk. Kean and his partner question why the whole video was never made public.

"The detective talked to me on the telephone and asked me if I would have a problem with them showing, releasing the video should it come to that," Kean said. "Would I have a problem? And I said no I wouldn't."

"Yes it does make me angry because I think people need to see what's going on, and if people see what's going on, it's going to keep them safe and they're going to be more aware," said Kean's partner, Earl Joyner.

The NOPD contends a lot of thought goes into what is released.

"Our number one consideration is is this video or are these images going to help us identify the suspect? And if the answer is yes, then we release it," said Eighth District Commander Nicholas Gernon.

Gernon said the department also wants to avoid tainting a jury pool by releasing shocking video and re-victimizing a victim.

"You may influence your victim's memory of the incident, so if they watch it, they may go to court and have embedded memories. We want to avoid that," Gernon said.

Joyner said he questioned the detective in charge of the case about showing the attack on the 72-year-old.

"I went down and looked at the whole video, and I asked the guy and said, 'Why didn't you release this video?' And he said, 'Oh it was just too violent.' And I said, 'I'm sorry, but there is way more violence on TV than this video.'"

Kean said it took him two months to get out of bed after the attack. Eight months later, he said he's  still dealing with residual health issues and that the emotional toll this random, horrific beating has taken can't be measured.

"I still don't know why they would do that to me. It's depressing, it hurt very badly, and I thought I never was going to get over it," Kean said.

Kean said the only thing he wants now is for the suspects to be caught. And he said if that means releasing video of the worst moments of his life, then that's what it takes.

We asked the NOPD if detectives thought the video was too violent to release publicly. We didn't receive an answer. But the department did send us this statement:

"The release of video surveillance is something the NOPD takes very seriously. Investigators want to ensure any video or photos released to the public is given careful consideration as to whether or not the release of such materials will further the progress of the investigation, and assist the department in the identification of the suspect(s)."

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