Nineteen states and D.C. have laws about public access to police body camera footage
Critics of access say cams might not tell the whole story; supporters say laws restrict transparency
Just because an officer videotapes a controversial encounter doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll ever get to see it.
As of October 1, North Carolina will bar police footage from the public domain, but the state is far from alone in seeking to block access to footage of police encounters.
At least 19 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws on public access to police body camera footage, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the National Conference of State Legislatures, which track such laws.
States with laws restricting access to body camera footage
States that have proposed legislation on body cam footage restrictions
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island