Bill to allow some people access to police body camera video headed to Governor’s desk

Bodycam bill awaiting Gov. Ivey's signature
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A bill that would allow some people access to police body camera footage is awaiting Governor Ivey’s signature. There are still a lot of restrictions in the bill, but supporters say this bill is a big step towards police transparency.

State Representative Juandalynn Givan calls House Bill 289 “historic legislation”. She hopes Gov. Ivey will sign it as soon as possible.

The bill sponsored by Givan allows someone to file a written request with a law enforcement agency based on a specific date and time of the incident. Body and dash camera video can only be given to people visible in the recording or their representatives. That video would be made available at a time and location chosen by the law enforcement agency.

Also, people will not be able to record or get a copy of the video. Givan says the legislation, which has the support of the attorney general and law enforcement, is still about transparency in the process.

“What I do think will happen is it creates an avenue for the prosecutorial teams in this state to not deny, deny, deny without some real reason or explanation as to why the evidence should not be shared,” Givan, D-AL District 60 said.

Givan says she’s worked with the Attorney General’s office on this bill alongside the District Attorneys Association and other law enforcement groups.

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