Indianapolis News and Headlines


Burden of proof shifts in body cam video bill

Posted at 6:32 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 08:49:06-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- A major shift by lawmakers would allow you to see the video recorded by police body cameras.

An updated version of a bill making its way through the legislature shifts the burden of proof to law enforcement to show why a video shouldn't be released.

Exceptions would include instances where it might interfere with the right to a fair trial or affect an ongoing investigation.

Under the new bill, a recording that shows excessive use of force by an officer or a civil rights violation would be seen as serving the public interest.

The Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police is concerned about determining what's excessive use of force.

Lawmakers may tweak the wording to leave that up to a judge to decide.

Senator Greg Taylor says lawmakers need to look at rules for the use of technology as well.

"One of the things we've learned about this issue is that some jurisdictions that have these types of video cameras that the officers have been turning them off, altering them or not turning them on at all," Sen. Greg Taylor, (D) Indianapolis.

"My biggest concern is I want to make sure the product we have today is going to encourage police agencies to have those body cameras and not do anything to put them on the shelf or cancer their order," said Rep. Kevin Mahan, (R) Hartford City.

Under the bill, law enforcement would retain body cam footage for 280 days.

The measure is expected to wind up in conference committee for negotiations.


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