Controversial body cam law focus of town hall meeting

The bill, which took effect this month, takes away the public's ability to access police dash cam and body cam footage without a judge's order.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina's controversial body cam law was the focus of a town hall discussion in Charlotte Friday.

The bill, which took effect this month, takes away the public's ability to access police dash cam and body cam footage without a judge's order.

Some argue it promotes secrecy and allows police to withhold vital information.

This summer, House Bill 972, or better known as the "Body Cam Law", was passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support. Senator Joel Ford voted in favor of the bill.

"This is a pathway for transparency the bill is not perfect," said Ford.

Since September's deadly police shooting of 43-year-old Keith Scott, the bill has been under heavy scrutiny.

In the Scott case, CMPD released the body and dash cam video to the public. Chief Kerr Putney made the ultimate decision. But now with the new law, there's needs to be a court order for police agencies to release any footage.

"The citizens of North Carolina deserve better," said Elsie Marie Greene, a member of Charlotte Uprising. "If what happened isn't readily available then what did we pay for the equipment for."

Some say the law lowers transparency and accountability between officers and the communities they serve.

Former police detective Gary McFadden says body and dash cam videos only do so much.

"No matter what you release somebody going to put what they want into it or articulate it differently," said McFadden.

 

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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