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The California Legislature missed the September deadline to approve pending legislation that would have made police body cam footage a public record.
The bill’s failure keeps the Golden State largely in line with the rest of the nation.
The California measure, backed by the California News Publishers Association and opposed by law enforcement, would have set a uniform, statewide policy to make footage publicly available.
Because of the bill’s demise, California’s police agencies are free to set their own guidelines.
Some are open-access friendly and others are not.
“The patchwork releases of body camera footage only sow further public distrust with law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Assemblyman Phil Ting, a democrat of San Francisco, said in a statement. “California needs a statewide standard for the disclosure of footage.
In order to let the footage speak for itself, we need more time to find the breakthrough in this bill and I will continue to engage with stakeholders to find a transparent and equitable solution.”
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