To Release or Not to Release Video Footage to the Public

Right now in the state of Indiana, footage that is captured by a law enforcement officer from a dash cam or a body cam is not required to be released to the public. That looks likely to change, however, now that House Bill 1019 has passed. The Indy Star is keeping followers updated on the state of the bill as it moves on to the Senate floor.

According to the recent piece in The Indy Star, “The proposed legislation would compel police departments to show recordings of law enforcement actions to either the person depicted in the video or that person’s relatives or attorney. For anyone else, the decision to release is up to the department.”

What everyone is talking about is that the final decision of whether to release this footage to the public or not would be left up to the individual law enforcement agency.

So what will police be required to release and to whom if the bill passes?

Outcomes of the Bill if It Passes

  • Law enforcement agencies would have to release video footage to family or attorneys.
  • Law enforcement agencies would have the final say on releasing video footage caught by law enforcement to the public, including the media.
  • If a law enforcement agency says they will not release footage, a person requesting the video would have to take the department to court and argue for its release.
  • The bill does not require all law enforcement agencies in the state to equip officers with body cams.

Momentum across the nation has been building for law enforcement agencies to become more accountable for how they use force, and capturing video footage has grown increasingly popular, driving many states to address how such evidence is captured, how it can be shared, and with whom it can be (or must be) shared. Some studies are even showing that those departments which are using these cameras are using deadly force less often and that they contribute to a growth of public trust in the communities where they are used.

Where do you weigh in when it comes to law enforcement agencies and whether or not they should be required to show video footage to the public? We’d love to hear from you! Do you know the advantages that capturing, recording, and sharing digital video recordings deliver for both law enforcement and the public? We’d love to tell you!

Check out more about the iRecord advantage by clicking here.

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