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ACLU wants statewide policy on body cameras for officers


ACLU wants statewide policy on body cameras for officers

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A civil rights organization in Mississippi is asking for a statewide policy to regulate the use of police body-worn cameras. The ACLU says police and sheriffs departments across the state have different policies. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi is hoping legislators will pass a law outlining uniform guidelines for law enforcement officers using body-worn cameras. The organization reviewed the policies of 65 police and sheriffs departments. They found none require individuals to be notified that they are being recorded. Also, officers can review camera footage before submitting a report of an incident, and recordings with major public interest, such as an officer-involved shooting, can be withheld from the public.

Blake Felderman is with the ACLU of Mississippi.

"The state legislature needs to establish a minimum policy that balancing privacy rights and transparency, accountability with privacy rights of officers also," said Felderman.

Ken Winter is the executive director of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police. He says the association does not support the ACLU on this and neither should lawmakers.

"The policies that the agencies have in place meet the legal and lawful parameters of the constitution. What the ACLU talking about people how have been videoed should have the right to view this or that, well actually no they don't," said Winter.

According to the survey conducted by the ACLU, at least 10 departments in Mississippi are using body-worn cameras without a written policy in place.