Activists concerned with wording of body camera bill

Activists concerned with wording of body camera bill
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - As many anticipate the rolling out of Memphis Police Department Body cameras, there are still many details that need to be worked out.

Senate Bill 2102 is meant to clarify what is right now in a gray area.

One of the bill's sponsors, Senator Brian Kelsey, said the bill is still in its infancy but will help to clarify issues such as how long footage is stored, when it can be released to the public, and other important details.

Local activists want to know why the bill includes language that implies police departments will keep some footage confidential.

"People want to be able to say, we gave ya'll body cams, now shut up," said local activist Earle Fischer.

Fischer said the bill's language could keep some video confidential, and there is no clear guideline on how the video will be released.

"The details guarantee justice, not minimum transparency, accountability, and I'm concerned with that," said Fischer.

But Senator Kelsey, a sponsor of the bill, said it is still being discussed what protocol will be taken to guarantee citizen privacy while still maintaining transparency.

"Images of decreased people, extremely graphic images, those things we need to discuss," said Kelsey.

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