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Beginning October 1st North Carolina Police Can Block Release Of Camera Footage


A new North Carolina law will make it harder for the public to acquire police dash cam and body camera footage.

By Derrick Broze | 28 September 2016

ACTIVIST POST — North Carolina has been the scene of recent riots and protests as the public calls for accountability in the police shooting of Keith LaMont Scott. After initially fighting the release of body camera footage, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney reluctantly allowed the public to see the shooting with their own eyes. Beginning October 1, Chief Putney and other North Carolina law enforcement will now legally be able to deny the public access to body camera and dash cam footage.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill two months ago that would limit public access to police footage. The law has been supported by the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. Governor McCory argued that the bill would respect “the constitutional rights of the officer.”

Currently, dash camera footage from the police vehicle and body camera footage are public record and available via public record requests. However, beginning October 1 the law will state that the release of police footage will now depend solely on law enforcement. If requests for footage are denied by law enforcement an appeal could be made before a judge.

Obviously, this does not bode well for police accountability activists who typically seek to make such footage public following altercations or shootings. North Carolina police are likely to deny any footage that would incriminate an officer or upset the public. []

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