Incredible advances in technology over the past couple of decades have impacted all of us in different ways. That includes victims of crime.
It also affects the police officers who put their lives at risk to protect ours. Of course, you've heard the headline-making stories about police altercations, and sometimes deadly clashes with criminals and victims.
We know about some of these incidents as the result of police officers wearing body cameras. Now, you might have the chance to see body camera footage for yourself.
Would you be interested in seeing police body-cam footage?
Police departments all across the U.S. have been implementing body cameras for some time now. It's a great way to keep a record of interactions between police and citizens.
Is police body camera footage something you would be interested in seeing? If so, there's a chance that you can access those videos.
Each state has its own legislation on whether the public can have access to police body cameras. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has put together an interactive map that shows what each state's current policy is regarding public access.
Image: RCFP body worn camera legislation and policy map. (Source: RCFP)
As you can see in the image above, the map is color-coded. Each state has been assigned a color and each color has a meaning that is related to legislation.
Here are what those colors mean:
- Blue - Legislation regarding public accessibility to body-worn camera footage has been proposed, but not passed.
- Yellow - A law has been passed regarding public access to body-worn camera footage.
- Brown - No laws regarding public access to body-worn camera footage have been passed. However, some states have introduced or passed bills regarding the implementation of BWCs that do not directly address the question of who should have public access.
- Green - A court case has decided the rules regarding public access to body-worn camera footage.
For an interactive version of this map to find out your local legislation, click here. Once you're at the interactive map, simply click on a camera in your area to see what the policy is in your area.
Even if your area allows public access to policy footage, it might still be difficult to view. For the information to be released, some departments require a request through public records and there may even be a fee involved.
It's nice that things are becoming more transparent. But it will be even better when it's easier to access this footage.
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