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Police Body Cam Footage Bill Nears Final Passage


A bill regulating when police body camera videos are released to the public cleared one of its last major legislative hurdles Tuesday – the Senate passed the bill in a near-unanimous vote.

Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) says one of the biggest issues in the House version of the bill was the burden it placed on the public and the press to prove a police body cam video should be released to the public. 

The Senate switched that burden – now law enforcement would have to prove in a court that it shouldn’t.  Bray also notes the importance of what’s not in the bill.

“This does not dictate whether a police agency has video cameras or not – that’s going to be a local decision – nor does it dictate when those should be turned on,” Bray says.

Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) says he thinks the bill will lead to fewer lawsuits.

“I believe that if you are going to be apprehended by a police officer and you know they have a body camera, you’re going to act differently,” Taylor says.

The Senate approved the bill 49-1.  The measure might go to a conference committee for the two chambers to work out any minor issues.

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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