Last week, a judge in Florida ruled that McDonald's must turn over surveillance footage of an attack on an elderly woman at a Hialeah restaurant, reports the local ABC News affiliate. But it seems that the tape has been disposed of, the culmination of a seven-month legal battle by McDonald's that ensures it never sees the light of day.
McDonald's is refusing to release surveillance footage of the attack, and it's causing big problems. The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office is calling the decision an injustice. Despite a subpoena and after months of trying, McDonald's refused to hand over the surveillance video of attack in the Hialeah restaurant's parking lot. On Tuesday, a judge ordered that the video be turned over to authorities.
Unfortunately, our surveillance footage is only available in the system for a limited time and the missing angle is no longer available. We have spoken to the State Attorney's Office about this and have offered to help in any way. McDonald's has not destroyed any video and continues to cooperate with the State Attorney's Office on this case."
It seems likely that they did destroy it, however, because they had earlier offered the tape to prosecutors on the provisio that it never be turned over to the media and be "given back" afterward—impossible requests, given that it would end up in court and any later appeals.
There is a suspect, but this was crucial evidence. What a weird case. The best part of McDonalds' statement is the one that, to paraphrase, amounts to "but we provided all the angles that didn't show the beating."