Body cameras raise some thorny access issues

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Police body cameras seem to offer a simple solution to concerns about law enforcement performance and accountability.

If there is some question about an interaction between an officer and a suspect or the public, just check the video.

But as police departments explore the idea, a number of tough questions are beginning to surface, and public access to the recordings may be one of the most difficult.

On one hand, all of the camera recordings could be considered public records. On the other hand, widespread use of cameras would certainly capture footage that many could argue should be private, such as officers responding to a call in someone’s home or discussions with law-abiding citizens that could include confidential information.

Legislators in a few states have started trying to tackle the issues…

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