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N.C. governor signs bill restricting release of police video footage

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posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 05:08 AM
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"We have been trying to evaluate how we can deal with technology. How can it help us, and how can we work with it so it doesn't also work against our police officers and public safety officials?" McCrory said, adding that the bill strikes the "necessary balance" between what the public should be allowed to see and the safety of officers.

The move by McCrory comes roughly a week after two black men in two different states were fatally shot by police officers. The video of the two mens' deaths were captured via cell phone video.

The ACLU of North Carolina called the new law "shameful."

N.C. governor signs bill restricting release of police video footage

Apparently, under this law, bodycam and dashcam video is no longer public record. It was only a matter of time, I suppose, that law enforcement would want to limit access.

There are privacy and wider implications to making this footage generally available, particularly before trial in the case of arrests or misconduct, so I kind of agree with the governor's statement that it's a fine line.

A similar law was just signed in Missouri: Missouri Law Limits Access to Body Cam Footage During Ongoing Investigationsl

And one has just been introduced in Ohio: Ohio bill would provide privacy exemptions for releasing police body cam videos

Back to NC, the governor says the goal is to protect those who protect us and that technology can mislead and misinform. Law enforcement is backing the move.

Highlights

* Court order required for general release of body camera and dashboard footage

* Subjects of video can view with law enforcement or court consent

* ACLU of NC calls it a “shameful law.”

“Body cameras should be a tool to make law enforcement more transparent and accountable to the communities they serve, but this shameful law will make it nearly impossible to achieve those goals,” Susanna Birdsong, policy counsel for the ACLU of North Carolina, said in a statement.
Read More Here

The ACLU has also stated that this gives the North Carolina police significant power to keep body cam, dash cam footage secret. They discuss the two levels of publicity here: [Link]

The ACLU, to put a fair and balanced framework around the issue, also has a model body camera act for the discussion of principled use and prevention of abuse. You can find information on this here: [Link]


There were growing calls for McCrory to veto the legislation because it makes it difficult for the public – including people involved in a recorded police action – to see it. But the Republican governor said the law will strike a balance between improving public trust in the police and respecting the rights of officers.

Others are uneasy about the bill as well.



Winston-Salem leaders uneasy about body cam lawl
“We are saying that we have a certain responsibility to be transparent and to be able to allow citizens to see if there is any cause for concern when it comes to public safety,” Adams said. “When Mr. Page died, I feel like if we had been able to release that tape we would have been able to calm some of the anxieties of the urban community.”
Instead, she said, when people know that there is a video and that it is not being released, “it creates a feeling of mistrust.”



Activists Urge North Carolina Gov. to Veto Bill Restricting Access to Body Cam Footage
A multiracial coalition of activists and community members are urging North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to veto a bill that would limit the public's access to law enforcement recordings, such as police body camera and dash cam video recordings.

On Friday, community members presented the governor a petition with more than 3,800 signatures regarding HB972. They also held a rally in front of the governor's mansion, and staged a die-in at the governor's office, according to Southeast Asian Coalition (SEAC) of Charlotte, North Carolina.


While I understand the need for transparency, I agree that the privacy issue is a huge one. It's a complex issue.


Under current law, many law enforcement agencies classify body camera video as a personnel record, making it almost impossible for the public to access. Dashboard camera video, however, has been more accessible. That will change under the new law, which treats all video the same way. It declares that law enforcement video is not a personnel record, but that it is also not a public record. [Source]


However, more to the ACLU's point, I don't believe that the people actually involved in an incident or their family members should need law enforcement or a court's consent or need to pay a lawyer to get the footage for them. It's a matter of control of the narrative, on both sides.

Court/judges orders will also be required if law enforcement agencies want to release the footage, say as it when it clears an officer of wrong doing? And while even though this option is available, it will take time, and we all know that additional time opens up the discussion to "what are they editing or changing." Part of the power of video is in its immediacy and immediate availability.

In many of the stories I read on this, in the debates in the legislatures, there also seemed to be a lot of emphasis placed on how much money and other resources it takes to purchase and maintain the cameras and all the related administration as well. And as we all know there are various levels of quality in the cams available, and some of them even fall off at critical times.


Guess people will be using their own cameras more and more now. How much longer until there are state-level restrictions on that too?
edit on 7/12/2016 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 05:36 AM
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The only parallel I can think of, is you and I cannot just go get the evidence for a murder ourselves prior to the court date... Video is evidence.

Still not sure how I feel about it.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 06:07 AM
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How much longer until there are state-level restrictions on that too?


cms.fightforthefuture.org...


Illinois just quietly passed a law that makes it a felony to record the police without consent



That quick enough?
Have to edit - This law only comes in to effect if you are trying to records police in a Private conversation. If you are stopped by the side of the road for example, there is no expectation of privacy, so does not apply. This has been a sore spot for years, after law enforcement sought a 75 years prison term for a man who recorded them.
If they have nothing to hide........
edit on 12-7-2016 by DAVID64 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 06:10 AM
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a reply to: DAVID64

Yep. The snowball is moving downhill.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 06:20 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity




Apparently, under this law, bodycam and dashcam video is no longer public record


Interesting, because this implies that:

. N.C. police are no longer funded by the public, and therefore have no authority on the public

. Bodycam & dashcam videos anterior to this bill are public record and as such are readily available

. Governors can make that call



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 06:30 AM
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If it helps the police it'll be on the evening news.
If it hurts the police it'll be evidence for a future trial (that'll never happen).

Welcome to America. Home of the brave.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 06:46 AM
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"I am the law"

Terrible. Time to start researching dash cams...



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 06:49 AM
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a reply to: lordcomac

My son just got one. I'm waiting to see how his works out, but it's not a bad idea.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 06:55 AM
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A court order to view it isn't hiding it. There is no sense in turning EVERY LEO into his own reality show.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:10 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

Smart move. Evil, but smart.

2nd step after establishing esprit de corps is getting rid of accountability/ public oversight. The SS/SA knew that aswell.


*Should also help with the "us vs. them" atmosphere.



edit on 12-7-2016 by ColCurious because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:12 AM
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originally posted by: ColCurious
a reply to: ~Lucidity

Smart move. Evil, but smart.

2nd step after establishing esprit de corps is getting rid of accountability/ public oversight. The SS/SA knew that aswell.




You realize the exact opposite, to an alarming degree, is taking place in this social climate.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:22 AM
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a reply to: In4ormant

Sorry, what are you saying?

Transparency and trust? Reconciliation with the citizenry to an alarming degree?



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:26 AM
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originally posted by: ColCurious
a reply to: In4ormant

Sorry, what are you saying?

Transparency and trust? Reconciliation with the citizenry to an alarming degree?


Transparency to who? Everyone? Why should you be allowed to see my speeding ticket stop? The video is still available if there is a problem.

You imply that TPTB are going to suppress evidence. The social climate we are in is so far from that it's rediculous. There isn't a LEO, politician, celeb in this country that can take a p*SS without a video becoming available and a social outcry ensuing.

Public oversight is at all all time high.
Just look at the site your on. You can't go a day without 30 threads showing every mundane incident that occurs in this country.


edit on 12-7-2016 by In4ormant because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:31 AM
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Because God forbid the general public learns just how absolutely corrupt law enforcement is in this country. Completely pathetic.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:31 AM
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Surely the cops can turn the cams off when they take a piss?!

Please tell me that was hyperbole And if not, where I can I get the video.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:32 AM
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originally posted by: Blazemore2000
Because God forbid the general public learns just how absolutely corrupt law enforcement is in this country. Completely pathetic.



Last I checked that hasn't been a problem.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:33 AM
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originally posted by: ~Lucidity
Surely the cops can turn the cams off when they take a piss?!

Please tell me that was hyperbole And if not, where I can I get the video.


Court order through the evil evil judicial system.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:34 AM
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a reply to: In4ormant

Then you are deaf, dumb, blind and unable to smell. As well as completely delusional.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:35 AM
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a reply to: In4ormant

Court orders to get video by this law? And/or probably laws in all/most states? I didn't find much information about how we get stuff NOW as opposed to these "new" laws.



posted on Jul, 12 2016 @ 07:35 AM
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And yet, any time there's a problem and that video needs to be public, it's hidden- or conveniently lost.

It needs to be publicly available in the event of an issue. The police can't be in charge of deciding if they want to show the video of their boys breaking the law.



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