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Should police officers be prevented from watching body cam video?




New York Police Department (NYPD) Officer Joshua Jones demonstrates how to use and operate a body camera during a press conference on December 3, 2014 in New York City.
New York Police Department (NYPD) Officer Joshua Jones demonstrates how to use and operate a body camera during a press conference on December 3, 2014 in New York City.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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A bill, AB66, introduced by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D- San Diego, sets guidelines for how body cameras worn by law enforcement, should be used.

A proposal in the bill says that police officers should not be able to view body camera video footage before submitting their eyewitness report to the prosecution. Supporters of the bill say that’s not the intended use of the cameras, nor is it good investigative practice to show evidence to those being investigated prior to their first report.

But, police officers see it differently. To them, video footage is an additional tool that can help them accurately report what happened. Police also fear that if they report even small inaccuracies initially, those errors could be held against them and potentially impeach their character, leading to losing their job.

Should police officers have access to body camera video footage prior to submitting their report to prosecutors? Or would that practice give police an unfair advantage over the accused or complainants?

Guests:

Brian Marvel, President of the San Diego Police Officers Association

Peter Bibring, Director of Police Practices for the ACLU of Southern California