Balderrama: Amazon’s decision to withhold Ring footage “detrimental”

Cops will no longer be able to get video footage from Ring without going through the courts.

Fresno Chief Paco Balderrama is displeased with Amazon’s announcement that it will no longer accept requests from law enforcement agencies for video from its Ring doorbell products. 

Balderamma posted on X that Amazon’s decision is “highly disappointing and detrimental.” 


The big picture: Amazon said in a blog post on Wednesday that the Request for Assistance tool will be eliminated. 

  • That tool allowed law enforcement agencies to submit requests for footage from individual users in their communities through the Neighbors app.
  • Three years ago Ring made police requests for user footage public in the Neighbors app. Prior to that law enforcement could message users privately to request video. 
  • Despite the changes, law enforcement will still be able to obtain footage from Ring doorbells, but will have to do so with a search warrant or subpoena. 

What they’re saying: “This is highly disappointing and detrimental to the investigation of violent crimes,” Balderrama said on X. 

  • He added that the Fresno Police Department depends highly on the cooperation of citizens and companies to help solve crime. 
  • “What is the point to having technology if police are delayed access to useful videos? Yes, police can still get access through a warrant or subpoena, but that takes time,” Balderrama said. “The key to lower violent crime rates are quick investigations and the apprehension of violent criminals.” 
  • Fresno City Councilman Mike Karbassi told The Sun that this decision has a negative impact for all of Fresno’s neighborhoods. 
  • “Customers invest in Ring products because they want safer neighborhoods,” Karbassi said. “Ring has just made them less safe by taking away their ability to voluntarily assist local law enforcement. I strongly urge Ring’s leadership team to meet with law enforcement leaders like Chief Balderrama and reconsider this rash decision.” 
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