MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Trying to get access to body camera video in Alabama is very difficult.
One Alabama politician says a new bill in the Alabama Legislature would create a unified system for people to view and receive this footage, but the concerns are that it could make getting it even harder.
For years, body cameras and dash cameras have been a bird’s-eye view of the actions of law enforcement and the public.
“We have got to put something in place to, to make things more consistent across Alabama and how we’re releasing or not releasing this information,” said Rep. Shane Stringer, R-Mobile.
Stringer said right now, there’s not unified system in Alabama when it comes to releasing body camera footage.
“It could hamper whether we get cooperation from our citizens and our victims and witnesses,” Said Rep. Stringer.
Stringer’s bill allows for some release of body camera footage, but people wanting that footage would first have to meet certain qualifications.
However, Rep. Juandalynn Givan, R-Birmingham, said body cam video would strengthen public confidence and help with public safety.
“I believe that the family members of victims deserve the right to know what happened to their loved ones,” Givan said.
She plans to re-introduce a bill from last year that would to make it easier for you to get access to public records when it comes to police body cameras.
“Waiting a year or making the excuse that it will taint the jury pool, Well guess what, as long as there’s social media out there, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as far as I’m concerned, these days, the jury pool is already tainted,” Givan said.
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