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State Senate May Ease Restrictions On Viewing Police Body Cam Videos

Jimmy Emerson

An Indiana Senate subcommittee may make it easier for the media to view, not obtain copies of video from police body cameras. 

The police body camera bill in the Senate defines how videos from those cameras are released to the public. 

One of its provisions requires police to allow people involved in the video and their family members to view the footage upon request. 

They can’t have a copy without going to court, but they can view it. 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Brent Steele wants to add the media to the list of those who can view the videos upon request.

“If you allow them to make a request of the agency and they get to see it, it just saves somebody going to court unnecessarily," he says. "Maybe there’s nothing there to see.”

The Senate sponsor of the bill, Rod Bray, says he is open to discussing the idea.  But Bray says he doesn’t want to expand to include any member of the public.

“I see that as undoable because if you get a high profile case, everyone and their brother is going to want to come in and try to do that and the police would be inundated with those requests,” he says.

A subcommittee is expected to report back to the Senate Judiciary Committee within the next two weeks. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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