Tuesday

Police Body Camera Footage Increasingly Being Restricted

Police body cameras are a good idea that seems to be slowly turning into a big secret. The body camera is meant to record interactions between police and the public, potentially protecting (or condemning) both sides when confrontations escalate.

For every egregious incidence of police excesses there are plenty of commendable instances of police officers calmly putting up with a lot of belligerent crap, saving troubled people from harming themselves, and so on.

In fact some police departments try to get out those good stories to try and balance the negative ones that tend to hit the headlines.

Notwithstanding that, there appears to be a trend towards making body cam footage much less readily available to the public, which I can't help but think defeats the original purpose of the whole exercise.
But as more police departments spent millions of dollars on body cameras and video storage, police unions, district attorney associations, and other law enforcement lobbying groups began to push for statewide laws restricting transparency. North Carolina, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Kansas, among others, have now instituted counter-transparency body camera laws. Even Missouri — home of Ferguson — classified body camera footage as a “closed record.”
The Verge

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