This week, North Carolina’s governor signed a law that excludes police body cam and dash cam recordings from that state’s open records laws. If you were recorded by a police camera, you may ask the police to view the recording but not copy it. If the police deny your request, then you have to go to court to overturn the decision.
Many people are alarmed by the fact that North Carolina has said that this footage is not public record, but in most states, even when footage is public record, there’s a loophole that enables law enforcement to decide whether they want to share in the first place, Nancy La Vigne of the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center tells NPR. Few states have been particularly prescriptive in their guidance for how one might acquire access to the footage or view the footage, she adds, “So in some ways this is actually more transparent and helpful to people who want to learn more about how they can acquire and see the footage that they are on.”