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Proposed law could restrict who can see body cam footage

Proposed law could restrict who can see body cam footage (Photo credit: WLOS)

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. -- A proposed law restricting who has access to video from police body cameras is creating controversy.

Proponents of police body cameras have said the devices promote transparency and accountability.

Critics argue a bill passed Tuesday in a house judiciary committee would remove dash cam and body cam footage from public record.

It would allow law enforcement agencies to decide who sees the recordings.

Video could be withheld for several reasons, for example if the footage jeopardizes a person's safety or reputation, or is part of an active investigation.

Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan recently went to Raleigh to share his input on the new policy, which he says is similar to his own.

"They want the police to be held accountable, which we are all for that as well, but not at the expense of putting people's privacy issues out," Duncan said.

Under the bill, anyone captured in police footage could request to see it, but would only be allowed a copy by court order.

The media and civil rights groups say that would be costly and limit any transparency or police accountability.

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