Who gets to see police body camera footage? California lawmakers may decide this year

With police departments across California continuing to equip their officers with body cameras, state lawmakers are trying again to set rules for their use, including one of the thorniest policy issues: who gets to see the footage and when.

The debate will force legislators to weigh deep transparency and privacy concerns that don’t have clear ideological answers, as is evidenced in the details that have emerged from two competing bills within the Democratic caucus.

Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) wants to ensure that body camera footage, especially in high-profile cases, would be released as soon as two months after the incident occurred — a big change from current practice which provides no guarantee any footage would ever come to light. Continue…