The sponsor of a bill regulating police body cameras is addressing concerns about officer privacy raised by police unions and associations.
In language being announced later this afternoon, Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, is responding to one key question posed by the Florida Police Benevolent Association: When should body cameras be turned on?
His answer, per amended bill language, is simple: during “law enforcement-related encounters and activities.”
Jones’s bill (H.B. 57) requires police departments and sheriff’s offices that implement body cameras to put in place specific policies related to privacy, data retention and training. It’s been watered down significantly since he filed it to require all police in Florida to wear the cameras.
This amendment, if approved, would address one of two privacy concerns that have been raised. The other relates to citizens’ privacy, as police often interact with people in sensitive situations and Florida’s public records laws are more open than most.
Body cameras have been proposed to increase transparency in police encounters after the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., and countless others throughout the country. (Last week, FBI Director James Comey said, “It’s ridiculous that I can’t tell you how many people were shot by the police last week, last month, last year.”)
Original article here.