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RALEIGH – North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory today signed into law HB 972, which allows law enforcement agencies to keep officer worn body camera footage from the public unless ordered to release the footage by a court.

“Body cameras should be a tool to make law enforcement more transparent and accountable to the communities they serve, but this shameful law will make it nearly impossible to achieve those goals,” said Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel for the ACLU of North Carolina. “People who are filmed by police body cameras should not have to spend time and money to go to court in order to see that footage. These barriers are significant and we expect them to drastically reduce any potential this technology had to make law enforcement more accountable to community members.”

Under the new law, body camera and dash camera footage are not public record. Law enforcement agencies have the discretion to release footage to people who are recorded, but if the agency denies a request to disclose the footage, the recorded individual must bring a claim in court to attempt to obtain the footage. There is no mechanism for law enforcement to release videos of public interest to the general public other than through a court order.

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RALEIGH – A bill that would allow law enforcement agencies to shield officer worn body camera footage from the public unless ordered to release the footage by a court was passed by the North Carolina Senate and House today and sent to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature or veto.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina, which has advised many local law enforcement agencies on their body camera policies, opposes HB 972 and is urging the governor to veto the bill.  

“This bill is an affront to transparency and we are urging Governor McCrory to veto it,” said Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel for the ACLU of North Carolina. “Giving law enforcement such broad authority to keep video footage secret – even from individuals who are filmed – will damage law enforcement’s ability to build trust with the public and destroy any potential this technology had to make officers more accountable to the communities they serve. People who are filmed by police body cameras should not have to spend time and money to go to court in order to obtain access to that footage.”

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RALEIGH – Today, after draft legislation with proposed changes to the sweeping anti-LGBT measure, North Carolina House Bill 2, was released, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal—who are challenging House Bill 2 in federal court on behalf of six LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina—released the following statement:

“These proposed changes are no fix.  After rushing to enact H.B. 2 in a span of hours, this is the second attempt—the first was the governor’s executive order—to clean up the extreme and discriminatory mess of H.B. 2. The only real solution is the full repeal of the law.

“Even with these changes, H.B. 2 still encourages discrimination against thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home, and it particularly targets transgender people.

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RALEIGH – A bill that would allow law enforcement agencies to shield officer worn body camera footage from public view unless ordered to release the footage by a court was approved by the North Carolina House tonight.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina, which has advised many local law enforcement agencies on their body camera policies, opposes HB 972. 

“Body cameras are supposed to represent a step forward for transparency, but this bill would be a step backward by empowering police to keep video footage secret—even from individuals who are filmed,” said Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel for the ACLU of North Carolina. “At a minimum, people who are filmed by police body cameras should be able to obtain that footage.  Instead, HB 972 would force people to go to court to obtain footage, a process most simply can’t afford. This bill would also deny local governments the ability to determine if footage does in fact need to be released in order to maintain public confidence, something they have the ability to do under current law.”

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