California Lawmaker Seeks to Make Police Body Camera Footage Public

Assembly Bill 748 from Assemblyman Phil Tang (D- San Francisco) would significantly expand public access to footage from police body-worn cameras from shootings and other public interest cases, according to the Los Angeles Times

Ting cites public distrust with law enforcement in the debates over whether body camera footage access should err on the side of transparency or that of privacy. This bill, which would have to clear both houses of Legislature before mid-September, would allow police departments to hold back some video permanently by arguing that privacy concerns outweigh public interest or to withhold them for up to three months if the departments believe releasing them would impede an investigation. 

The legislative director for the California State Sherriff’s Assn., however, believes the decisions to release video should remain in the hands of local police and prosecutors. 

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