Did APD delay release of tapes in Phelps shooting?

      The Albany Police Department is drawing criticism over allegations that they delayed releasing surveillance video of the robbery and shooting of a local businessman.

      The Albany Police Department is drawing criticism over allegations that they delayed releasing surveillance video of the robbery and shooting of a local businessman.

      Walter Phelps was shot at P&P Garden and Hardware on July 3. That same day suspects in the shooting were caught on camera using Phelps' credit card.

      But those tapes weren't released to the public for another 19 days.

      Officers say they didn't receive notice from the credit card company until July 15.

      "It wasn't that we were actively monitoring at that point because this happened within just a couple of hours after the robbery, but we were notified that this transaction had taken place," said Albany Police Captain Russell Barnes.

      But it still took another seven days once the department got the tapes until they were released to the media and the public. But once police did release the tapes, tips came pouring in and within days they went from making zero arrests to arresting five suspects.

      On Tuesday Police were not ready to discuss what held up the release of the tapes.

      On Monday Police Chief John Proctor wrote a letter to City Manager Al Lott detailing a timeline of the case. You can read the letter below:

      This memorandum is sent for the purposes of providing you with time line information on the P & P Garden's & Hardware Robbery and Shooting. As has been revealed, the incident occurred at 2500 North Slappey Boulevard on July 3, 2010 at approximately 07:57 a.m. Unfortunately, this case is still under active investigation and the information that may be released is limited. I can assure you that the Investigators have worked this case aggressively, even while working on other cases that were occurring during the same time frame. Below is the time line:

    • Incident occurred on July 3, 2010 at approximately 07:57 a.m.
    • Between the date of the occurrence and July 14th, investigators followed leads and sought aid of the victim and other sources to identify potential suspects.
    • July 14th, detectives received information regarding the use of the victim's credit cards at the Outlet Mall in Lake Park, Georgia. The detective responded and retrieved a copy of a transaction video on the date of the notification.
    • July 15th and July 16th, efforts were made to get the subjects on the video identified via the victim and other investigative sources. These efforts were met with negative results.
    • July 20th, the Albany Police Department's Media Manager was consulted and after copying the video, it was prepared for release.
    • July 22nd, the video was released to the media for airing during a news cast.
    • On July 26th, detectives received information from Albany Crime Stoppers identifying several suspects who were later arrested. The initial arrest included Ezekial James and Jamon Carter
    • On July 27th, Jordan Harris was arrested.
    • On July 29th, several other suspects were located and arrested. The included Roderick Ferrell and Ryan Richardson.
    • Though much work has occurred in this case, there still are persons of interest we are still seeking at this time. As I have stated previously, we are extremely thankful to the members of the community and the media who provided assistance in identifying and locating these individuals.

      If you have additional questions, please contact my office.