San Francisco Disciplines Battalion Chief Over Helmet Cam

The San Francisco battalion chief whose helmet cam video captured the death of a plane crash victim last July has received a letter of reprimand for violating the department’s policy on unauthorized recordings in the workplace.

Battalion Chief Mark Johnson was the incident commander when a fire truck ran over 16 year old Ye Meng Yuan at San Francisco International Airport following the crash of an Asiana Airlines 777 on July 6, 2013. Yuan was covered in foam and lying on the tarmac at the time.

Video from Chief Johnson’s helmet cam is being used by the National Transportation Safety Board and the San Francisco Police Department in their investigations. No word on whether Chief Johnson plans to appeal the discipline.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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