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Body Camera Footage Law Takes Effect And Lawmakers Already Want Changes


Changes could be coming to Indiana’s new police body camera footage law – even though it just took effect Friday.

Lawmakers spent months over the last year negotiating the fine details of a law governing how and when police body camera footage should be released.

The final product requires police to prove why video should not be released, rather than put the burden of proof on the public.

It was a compromise supported by both the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police and the Hoosier Press Association.

But Clarksville Police Chief Mark Palmer says his department will discontinue its body cam program because of the law. Palmer says the law lets the, in his words, “nosy neighbor” view the footage.

Senator Rod Bray (R-Martinsville), the bill's author, says he’s heard that argument before.

“That’s just a philosophical position that each agency might have and I think that, in particular, will just have to play out,” Bray says.

Bray says if more departments discontinue their body cam programs, he’ll want the legislature to consider changes to the law.

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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