Body Camera Footage Law Takes Effect And Lawmakers Already Want Changes

Jul 1, 2016

Footage from cameras like these became easier to get Friday when a law governing it went into effect.
Credit VIEVU / http://www.vievu.com/

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.