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Casper Cole Creek Fire Video Examined

Cole Creek Fire
Courtesy: Derik Hepner

The Cole Creek Fire back in October of 2015, generated a lot of controversy,

But one that cropped up in the aftermath involved the Casper Fire Chief, Kenneth King.

Chief King asked one of his inspectors to eliminate “bad parts” of video evidence being sought by authorities after a burning wood-chip pile at Casper’s landfill ignited a wildfire that destroyed 14 homes, according to emails obtained by the Casper Star-Tribune.

King says he sent the email as a joke to someone he considers a friend and says it was in poor taste.

So the city commissioned an outside examination of the video of the fire and its origins, and now the results have been announced.

The press release from the city says that inquiries from the press made City manager V.H. McDonald, request an independent forensic examination of the video to determine whether or not any alterations, deletions, or other changes had been made to it.

The video of the fire was sent for review by Jonathan C. Broyles, a Senior Forensic Examiner for Image and Sound Forensics, Automated Dispatch Systems, LLC, located in Parker, Colorado.

Initially, the city says, there was one segment of video missing, but it was recovered and sent to the examiner.

The city says that Broyles found no inconsistencies or anomalies in the video and appears to be the original authentic video recording.

Here is the city’s official release.

“Casper, Wyoming (March 17, 2017) – Previously, the City publicly released copies of video segments taken of the Cole Creek Fire on October 11th and 12th, 2015.

Although recordings of the video had been in the hands of State investigative agencies, as a result of inquiries by the press, V.H. McDonald, as the City Manager, requested an independent forensic examination of the video to determine whether or not any alterations, deletions, or other changes had been made to it.

Michael Szewczyk, Information Technologies Manager, City of Casper Support Services Department, was tasked to secure and compile the video and the recording equipment for review by Jonathan C. Broyles, a Senior Forensic Examiner for Image and Sound Forensics, Automated Dispatch Systems, LLC, located in Parker, Colorado.

During analysis, Mr. Broyles discovered that one of nine segments of the video had not been included in the original public release of the video. Mr. Szewczyk obtained, and supplied the additional video segment to Mr. Broyles, who was then able to complete his review. In his report, which he attested to on March 8, 2017, Mr. Broyles found that there were no inconsistencies or unexplained anomalies in the nine video segments, and that all of the video segments are consistent with the known authentic video recording.

Copies of the authenticated video segments and Mr. Broyles report are available for public review through the City of Casper Risk Management Office.”

 

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