A state Senate committee will be asked tomorrow to consider a number of changes to laws governing Missouri law enforcement, proposed because of unrest after the shooting of Michael Brown in August.
One of those would require officers on duty to wear body cameras. Senate President Tom Dempsey doesn’t believe that’s a requirement the state should enact.
“My interest in body cameras has been to leave it up to the local governments … so that we do not have any type of mandate that we pass down to them,” said Dempsey.
Dempsey noted Attorney General Chris Koster has said the issue raises questions about who could access the video and audio–whether it would be accessible under Missouri’s open records law.
“Should your neighbor be able to look at a police video if they entered your house, or should there be a little bit more, tighter control?” asked Dempsey.
Bills have been filed in both the House and the Senate that seek to address the accessibility issue.
Proponents say body cameras would offer another source of evidence in interactions between police and citizens. Their use is also supported by some law enforcement.
The provision is part of Senate Bill 21, which will be the subject of a committee hearing Wednesday morning.