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'He didn't deserve to be shot dead'

Posted at 11:08 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 23:08:53-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis woman hopes her family's story will have an impact on state law. It's part of the debate over whether Hoosiers should be able to see police body camera video. 

She says footage shows the events leading up to the fatal shooting of her husband by police. And she thinks it could shed new light into what happened. 

Debbie Long is convinced the video captured on the officer's body camera would provide a clear picture of the events leading up to her husband's death. Her testimony was part of a hearing on a proposal crafting guidelines for public access to the video. 

"He didn't deserve to be shot dead the way he was shot multiple times in the street," Long said. 

Long's husband, Mack, was fatally shot by police after running from a traffic stop in April 2015. IMPD released video from the police body camera to the media, after a detective first showed Long and her family. 

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"I had to ask him to stop talking. I had to ask him to rewind the video, which was still at their discretion to rewind, and I heard, clearly, my husband screaming 'stop, stop don't shoot,'" Long said. 

She is asking for a copy. She thinks the footage will show a different narrative. 

"I don't know exactly what needs to be revised in this law. But, I can tell you right now that there is a need for revision to protect people like myself," she said. 

State lawmakers are discussing a bill that sets guidelines for access to police body camera video. Under new changes, the proposal would allow anyone captured on the video, family members, or the owner of property depicted to inspect the video twice in the company of an attorney. 

It would require law enforcement agencies to justify the video be kept private, in order to prevent harm or interference with a fair trial. 

This is a significant change from the original version of the bill, which restricted public access. 

RELATED | Senate to hear bill to let police withhold body camera video | Lawmakers consider bill that would limit access to police body camera video

The Indiana Broadcasters Association and others say they're encouraged by it. 

The committee is expected to vote next week. 

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