Police body-worn camera access nationwide

Elements of Body Camera Proposals

  At the outset of this analysis, the Coalition focused on four areas relevant to the handling and availability of police body camera recordings:

  • Collection of police body camera footage;
  • Retention of police body camera footage;
  • Applicability of existing Freedom of  Information Act (FOIA) laws and exemptions; and
  • Related police dashcam footage rules.

  Legislative initiatives address some or all of these elements, the latter considered comprehensive proposals.     

State Policies

Overview

  • Nearly half of states — twenty three in total — have passed some form of legislation addressing police body cam footage.[1] Within the past year, states appear to have been moving in a more conservative direction, with several — such as Louisiana and North Carolina — adopting particularly restrictive laws relating to public access.
  • Twelve states have not proposed any police body cam legislation at the state level:[2]
    • Of those, one has had a proposal enacted by a state administrative body.[3]
  • The remaining fifteen states have introduced legislation addressing police body cam footage, which either is under consideration,[4] or has been debated and rejected in the legislative process.[5]

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