Body Cameras

Jordan Green / Triad City Beat

UPDATE: According to reports from News & Record reporter Danielle Battaglia, a superior court judge has ordered the release of the police body camera footage of Jose Charles to the Greensboro City Council for viewing in a closed session.

Another violent arrest by police in Greensboro is testing North Carolina's 2016 law on the release of police body camera footage. The mother of fifteen-year-old Jose Charles says police choked her son without provocation at a Fourth of July party, and she wants the public to see the police tape of the incident. Police charged Jose Charles with attacking an officer, among other crimes. 

a sample police body cam
Utility, Inc. / Flickr, Creative Commons

In an effort to increase police accountability, the Durham City Council has approved a plan to spend $1.4 million dollars to outfit police officers with body cameras for the next five years.

A body camera on a North Charleston police officer.
Ryan Johnson / Creative Commons

In June, Republican leaders in the General Assembly sponsored and passed House Bill 972 – a measure that codified in law that police video recordings were not public records. It was a direct reaction to the violence in Ferguson, Missouri and the multiple shootings across the country of black men by police.

NC ACLU Touts Phone App To Document Police Misconduct

Jul 15, 2016
ACLU of North Carolina

Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill on Monday making it harder for the public to gain access to police body camera footage. In response, the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says citizens should be prepared to film law enforcement encounters themselves.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

​North Carolina's House Bill 2 and the state budget dominated the headlines during this year's legislative short session. But the bills that got less attention could also have a huge impact across the state.

One of them places regulations on the footage caught by police body cameras, and declares those tapes are not public records. That same bill also establishes the first statewide needle exchange program.

Rolanda Byrd, whose 24-year-old son Akiel Denkins was killed by a white police officer in Southeast Raleigh, spoke at a vigil on Friday.
Jorge Valencia / WUNC

Demonstrations over this week’s fatal shootings in Dallas, Minnesota and Louisiana spread to North Carolina on Friday, with gatherings in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Winston-Salem and one group calling on easier access to police body camera footage.

A body camera on a North Charleston police officer.
Ryan Johnson / Creative Commons

Lawmakers in the North Carolina House have voted in favor of a bill that would keep police body camera video out of the public record. Under the provision, the footage wouldn't be personnel records either.

Photo: A camera pinned on a police uniform
cops.usdoj.gov

Police body cameras are slowly catching on in North Carolina as a way to hold both police and civilians accountable for their actions. But body cameras also raise questions about the privacy of the people they record.

Should that footage be public record? And will body cameras be the answer for communities that have lost trust in their police force?

An image of a police officer speaking
Charlie Shelton / WUNC

How much will it cost? When would it be recording? Who could access the videos? These are a few questions that have surrounded the public forums about body cameras hosted by the Durham Police Department. But Tuesday evening's forum prompted a different question:

What will it change?

Winston-Salem City Government has extended benefits to same-sex couples who were married in other states.
www.wxii12.com/

    

The Winston-Salem city government is now offering benefits to same-sex partners who are married.