House-passed bill may streamline process for families to view police body camera footage

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 7:04 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A state bill focused on police reform just passed through the NC House Wednesday, after previously passing through the NC Senate.

Senate Bill 300 puts forward several police reforms, including holding officers accountable for reporting excessive force and streamlining the process for families to view relevant body camera footage.

While current law has no timeline on footage release, the bill introduces deadlines.

If families request to see the video, law enforcement has to file a petition in Superior Court within three days and a judge has to decide whether or not to release within seven days.

NC Democratic Senator Don Davis, who had a hand in writing this legislation, said the Andrew Brown Jr. case in Elizabeth City partly inspired the bill.

“As you see in the case of Andrew Brown, actually from the date that he was actually killed to the date that the family actually saw the video, it was about a 20-day window. This would consolidate this into a maximum of about a 10-day window,” he explained.

NC Republican Representative Chris Humphrey, who voted in favor of the bill Wednesday, said there was some robust debate but ultimately bipartisan support.

“It’s not a perfect bill, but I think it gets accomplished what a lot of North Carolinians want to see accomplished,” said Humphrey.

From here, the bill will go back to the Senate for a concurrent vote before heading to the governor’s desk. If he signs, it will be converted into law.

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