Why now, and more importantly why were they previously shown to people attending the FBI’s Citizens Academy last year?

Per the Charlotte Observer:

The Observer and other media groups filed formal requests to get the videos after the FBI showed them to members of its Citizens Academy a year ago. Two reporters participating in the academy were on hand for the screening.

The FBI [today] released eight video tapes and three audio recordings. The agency declined any comment.

Charlotte defense attorney Claire Rauscher said Wednesday that the FBI’s release of the tapes is highly unusual. “The feds don’t release evidence,” said Rauscher, former head of the federal public defender’s office. “Once it was out in the public domain, I don’t think they had much of a choice.”


Cannon’s attorneys, James Ferguson and Jake Sussman, said at the time they were shocked that the FBI showed the footage, which they said appeared to be a “significant breach of protocol.”

“The government often places extraordinary limitations on how defense attorneys are permitted to handle sensitive material, like the videos in question. How and why the FBI shared these videos with the public, including a reporter, are questions that need answers,” the Charlotte lawyers said in a statement.