Bill Would Allow Cops to View Body Camera Footage Before Writing Reports

Law enforcement officers could view the footage on their body cameras, before writing their official report of an incident, under legislation moving in the Florida House. The Criminal Justice Subcommittee approved the legislation this week by a vote of eleven to one.

The measure would allow police to see and hear what is on their camera, and it would be up to local law enforcement agencies to come up with policies and procedures about how the officer would review the footage.

Bill sponsor Shawn Harrison says cops respond to a wide range of calls each day, from something as simple as a barking dog to a report of shots fired.

The Republican State Representative says viewing their own body camera should help them remember what happened during a given call.

“For the officer responding to a scene, things happen quickly. They probably don’t have a full recollection of every single bit of the incident. This will allow them to review everything before they formally have to write up a report,” said Harrison.

The body camera legislation has one more committee stop in the House, before it would be ready for a vote by the whole chamber.

A similar Senate bill has yet to be heard by any committee, ahead of the 2017 regular session that starts March 7th.

CHAPTER 2017-15
Committee Substitute for House Bill No. 305
An act relating to law enforcement body cameras; amending s. 943.1718,
F.S.; requiring law enforcement agencies to establish policies and
procedures authorizing an officer’s review of camera footage of an incident
before writing a report or providing a statement; providing an exception;
providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) of section 943.1718, Florida
Statutes, is redesignated as paragraph (e), and a new paragraph (d) is added
to that subsection to read:
943.1718 Body cameras; policies and procedures.—
(2) A law enforcement agency that permits its law enforcement officers to
wear body cameras shall establish policies and procedures addressing the
proper use, maintenance, and storage of body cameras and the data recorded
by body cameras. The policies and procedures must include:
(d) A provision permitting a law enforcement officer using a body camera
to review the recorded footage from the body camera, upon his or her own
initiative or request, before writing a report or providing a statement
regarding any event arising within the scope of his or her official duties. Any
such provision may not apply to an officer’s inherent duty to immediately
disclose information necessary to secure an active crime scene or to identify
suspects or witnesses.
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.
Approved by the Governor May 9, 2017.
Filed in Office Secretary of State May 9, 2017.
1
CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

From NBC 6

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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