NC lawmakers discuss body camera legislation

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – A North Carolina legislative committee met on Thursday to tackle a draft bill about how the state would handle body cameras worn by law enforcement officers.

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety heard a subcommittee’s report with a summarized statement that North Carolina should not mandate the use of body cameras.

The subcommittee recommendations indicate it should be up to local governments. The recommendations included a draft bill that would establish in part that videos from body cameras are not public records. A subcommittee member said if you are recorded in one, you are eligible to view the video.

Read the draft version of the state’s body camera bill

The bill summary does say if law enforcement decides it is vital to an investigation for someone not to view the video, then they must provide explicit reasons. It establishes a way to appeal that, but committee members did say there was some confusion about that language in the draft.

The bill could be tweaked before being introduced in the upcoming short session. If enacted, all parts of the bill would be effective by the end of this year.

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