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North Carolina Police Footage Not Public Record, Per New Law

Image: North Carolina Police Footage Not Public Record, Per New Law

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 Jul 2016 12:25 PM

North Carolina police footage from officers' body cameras and dashboard cams will no longer be public record after Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill setting guidelines on who can obtain and view it, reported WTVD.

House Bill 972 allows any person captured on police video or audio to submit a written request to view the video, according to the governor's website statement. If authorities decline the request, they can ask for a court hearing.

"The bill seeks to gain public trust while respecting the rights of public safety officers by establishing clear and distinct procedures and standards by which a law enforcement agency may disclose or release a recording from a body-worn or dashboard camera," the statement said.

McCrory said he believed the legislation is fair to everyone and that such technology can be misused.

"My goal is to protect those who protect us," McCrory said. "It's better to have rules and guidelines with all this technology than no rules and guidelines whatsoever."

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina called the new law "shameful," said WTVD.

"Body cameras should be a tool to make law enforcement more transparent and accountable to the communities they serve, but this shameful law will make it nearly impossible to achieve those goals," said Susanna Birdsong, policy counsel for the ACLU of North Carolina.

"People who are filmed by police body cameras should not have to spend time and money to go to court in order to see that footage. These barriers are significant and we expect them to drastically reduce any potential this technology had to make law enforcement more accountable to community members." 

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, McCrory said the legislature took into consideration how the footage "can help us and how can we work with it, so it doesn't also work against our police officers and public safety officials."

"Technology like dashboard and body cameras can be very helpful, but when used by itself, technology can also mislead and misinform, which also causes other issues and problems within our community," McCrory added. "What we need to do is walk that fine line."

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North Carolina police footage from officers' body cameras and dashboard cams will no longer be public record after Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill setting guidelines on who can obtain and view it.
north carolina, police, footage
384
2016-25-13
Wednesday, 13 Jul 2016 12:25 PM
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