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9-24-16 Delaware State

Missouri House OKs limiting access to police camera footage

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Missouri House OKs limiting access to police camera footage

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Public access to footage from police cameras in Missouri would be restricted under a measure moving forward in the Legislature. The Missouri House gave initial approval Wednesday to a measure that would exempt such footage from the state’s open-records laws. Activists have rallied around encouraging police departments across the country […]

Missouri House OKs limiting access to police camera footage

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Public access to footage from police cameras in Missouri would be restricted under a measure moving forward in the Legislature.

The Missouri House gave initial approval Wednesday to a measure that would exempt such footage from the state’s open-records laws.

Activists have rallied around encouraging police departments across the country to use body cameras to record interactions with the public after last year’s fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson policeman. There was no video of that shooting.

But Missouri lawmakers are reluctant to require police cameras because the state constitution prohibits unfunded mandates.

The legislation would allow agencies to block access to footage and require court action to override that decision.

Supporters say they want to balance privacy concerns of individuals with the public’s right to know.

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