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 TM credit card.
But those tapes weren TMt released to the public for another 19 days.
Officers say they didn TMt 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 TMs & 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:
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.