New legislation from a Bay Area assemblyman would dramatically expand public access to police body camera videos in California, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The measure, Assembly Bill 748 from Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), would make public footage from police shootings and other cases considered to be in the public interest, such as police uses of force or violent political protests.
"Right now in many communities there's a level of distrust [with law enforcement]," Ting said. "I believe that having more transparency, more openness will create more trust on both sides."
Ting's legislation seeks to break a stalemate at the state Capitol on whether to ensure public access to body camera videos. Ting said the rules should be the same across California so everyone would know when footage would be released. "There is clearly a need to have clear and consistent guidelines across the board," he said.
But Cory Salzillo, legislative director for the California State Sheriffs' Assn., said the bill ignores the unique circumstances facing criminal and internal investigators. The decision over whether to release footage should continue to be the in hands of local police and prosecutors, he said.