Bill proposed to mandate body camera use

- The whole country is talking about video of a young African-American man dying in a hail of gunfire, shot 16 times by a Chicago Police officer.

Should the graphic video be made available to the public? One Arizona lawmaker says no.

State Senator John Kavanagh introduced a bill saying police body camera videos are not public records, and could only be released if the public interest is great than the privacy rights of police and the people showing up on police video. That bill died, but he's re-submitting it and looking for backers to try again.

The videos focus the nation's attention on police tactics, deadly force, and race.

"I think it is a tragic incident, there is nothing good about it, and to spin it any other way beyond a tragedy would be wrong," said Mark Spencer.

The Chicago shooting captured on a dashcam inside a police car, but increasingly these confrontations are being recorded on body cameras worn by police. Some officers like the cameras, they think it shows them making the right decisions under difficult circumstances. But Kavanaugh would like to see some limits.

"Police body cameras are a two-edged sword. On the one hand, they can let the public and criminal justice system see what happened, but, on the other hand, they can be a great invasion of privacy," said Kavanagh.

The ACLU has a very dim view of Kavanagh's proposal.

"The longer that these videos are withheld, the more questions raised by the public about misconduct and potential coverup, I mean it is very important for these videos to be released," said Alessandra Soler with the ACLU.

Sen. Kavanagh would like to see officers given the ability to turn off their cameras unless they're involved in a criminal case, or a situation where they have to use force to protect the officers' right to privacy. Opponents say those cameras are essential to document police brutality while protecting officers who are falsely accused of wrongdoing.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories