Wisconsin law enforcement agencies would have clearer rules for how to handle body camera footage, under a bill passed by the state Assembly.
The legislation sets restrictions on the public release of videos, which supporters say are needed to help protect the privacy of victims and others who may be filmed. State Representative Jess Kremer (R-Kewaskum) said Thursday that many law enforcement agencies are “treading on thin ice” with possible Fourth Amendment violations, when officers may film in places where there’s an expectation of privacy.
However, critics of the bill argue it falls short of actually addressing real questions about body cameras, such as when officers should be turning them on. State Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) called the legislation a “missed opportunity.”
Milwaukee Democrat JoCasta Zamarippa said the bill will actually reduce the effectiveness of police videos in building public trust. “This bill does nothing but further the divide between the police and the communities they’re meant to protect,” he said.
The bill passed on a voice vote and now heads to the state Senate.