San Francisco Firefighter Disciplined for Helmet Cam

The San Francisco fire battalion chief whose helmet-mounted camera captured the moment a 16-year-old Asiana Airlines crash survivor was struck and killed by an airport fire rig is facing a reprimand for allegedly violating department rules, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Chief Joanne Hayes-White's disciplinary action against Battalion Chief Mark Johnson comes two weeks after images from the video became public, prompting questions about the actions of first responders before the July 6 death of Chinese schoolgirl Ye Meng Yuan at San Francisco International Airport.

After several images were published by The Chronicle, the chief told commanders she believed Johnson's footage -- taken on his personal camera -- was not authorized under a 2009 departmental general order that precludes unauthorized video recording "in the workplace" and at stations.

The privacy rights of victims and firefighters outweighed any value of helmet-camera footage, Hayes-White said.

On Tuesday, a department spokeswoman declined to comment on the disciplinary case against Johnson, saying any action would be confidential. A reprimand goes into the personnel file of a firefighter but does not include a financial penalty.

Johnson has declined to comment. It is not clear whether he will appeal to the city Fire Commission.

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