Governor Scott Walker says he supports having clear rules for how law enforcement agencies handle footage collected by body cameras.
A bill being considered at the Capitol would create guidelines for when police have to retain and release body camera footage. Those rules could include limiting access to video that’s not directly tied to an arrest, search or police action that results in the death or injury of a suspect.
Walker says he believes body camera information should be fully transparent. “If you want to what law enforcement’s doing, you should be able to see that. If you want to see what criminals are doing, you should be able to do that,” he argues.
However, the governor also thinks releasing that video can be tricky…and it would help to have rules in place. “I think it is realistic to assess, in the release of that information, what happens if someone is not a law enforcement professional and they’re not a criminal…should their face or image be allowed to be released…if they didn’t have anything to do with it?”
Open records advocates argue the bill could be used to greatly limit public access to body camera footage.
The bill received a public hearing at the Capitol last week.