Don McCollor says in Comments:
Now that body/car cams are so common, it keeps police honest too. A cameras 'off' or video "missing" should be grounds for dismissal of all charges...
Yeah, let's talk about that.
When I left my last agency in 2019, less than half the officers wore cameras. And, there is good reason for that. Storing video is expensive. It takes a lot of memory space, and it requires a substantial investment of equipment. And, by far, the least expensive portion is the cameras themselves. Storage of hours of boring video is part of the equation. Probably the biggest expense, even higher than server space, is the personnel needed to catalog the video and maintain the equipment. If you have 200 cameras running 12 hours per day, the investment necessary to store and catalog 2400 hours of video every day is staggering.
And, the huge majority of arrests are quite routine. Which is why we tell officers to not become complacent when making an arrest. In my 37 year career, I arrested (conservatively) a thousand people. And, I can only recall a half-dozen or so that went bad on me. I never killed anyone, (thank God), but I was awfully close on two occasions.
The vast majority of arrests are stunningly routine. The suspect complies, we administer the cuffs and take him or her to jail. Probably 95 percent, or higher, fall into that category. Probably one percent or less is a resistive arrest, where the suspect actively resists. That other percentage is an arrest that comes after an investigation. Generally for a felony offense where the suspect was not apprehended at the scene. In this case, the investigators have done their homework, identified a suspect, built a file, obtained warrants, and gone our to arrest the suspect.
Citizens make complaints for a variety of reasons, and in many such situations, there is no basis for the complaint. I can recall two such complaints in my career where a citizen made a complaint against me, personally, by name. I was able to show, in both cases, that not only was I not at the scene of the complaint, but that at the time in question, I was not even in the parish (county) at the time of the alleged complaint. One was a case of mistaken identity, where the citizen thought they recognized me at the scene, the other still baffles me.
So, to answer Don's question, should lack of body camera footage be grounds for dismissal of charges? No, not as a blanket policy. There is only a tiny percentage of cases where body camera footage calls the conduct of the officer into question.