A bill being considered at the Capitol would make it harder for the public and the news media to get access to police body camera footage. Under the bill, footage would remain confidential unless it shows death, injury, arrest, or search during questioning. Even if meets those standards, if the it was recorded in a place where people have a “reasonable expectation of privacy,” there would be further consent requirements.
Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney testified he’s held off issuing body cams to his deputies — awaiting state guidelines. “The issues of preservation for timelines, areas that are of concern to victims, privacy areas. There just had not been the guidelines that would protect victims of crime,” Mahoney told the Assembly Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.
The legislation is from state Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum). “The balancing test is a tool that law enforcement agencies use to determine what is redacted or released. But in recent discussions with various law enforcement agencies, I have been told that 95% of what is requested to their agency is released under our open records law. I have grave concerns with this, and so should victims, the public and the law enforcement community.”