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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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RALEIGH – Today the North Carolina Senate voted to approve HB 100, a bill that creates new rules for the enforcement of state immigration laws. Senator Mike Woodard objected to the bill on its third reading, meaning that the Senate must vote one more time before the bill is sent to the House.   

Specifically, the bill would

·         Take away the ability of law enforcement officers to use local or organizations IDs, such as those used in Greensboro, as a tool for for identifying crime victims, witnesses, and suspects

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RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Public Safety yesterday announced plans to end the practice of placing youthful offenders in solitary confinement by September 2016. North Carolina is one of two states in the country that still charges 16 and 17 year olds as adults and places them in adult correctional facilities.

As of June 7, there were 67 children under the age of 18 in North Carolina prisons, 16 of which were segregated from the general population in some form of solitary confinement. Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced that it would end the solitary confinement of juveniles in federal prisons.

In 2015, a coalition of human rights organizations sent a letter asking the United States Department of Justice to open an investigation into the use of solitary confinement in North Carolina prisons.

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NORTH CAROLINA — American singer-songwriter and former Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh announced he will give a portion of the proceeds from two upcoming shows in North Carolina to the ACLU to support its lawsuit fighting the anti-LGBT law House Bill 2, which removes protections for LGBT people and prohibits transgender people from using facilities that correspond to their gender identity.

Net profits from Walsh’s June 30 show (with Bad Company) in Charlotte and August 9 solo show in Raleigh will also go to Equality North Carolina. Both groups will be on site at the show to engage with attendees.

ACLU of North Carolina Policy Director Sarah Preston said the following in response:

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