Voters Question Lawmakers on Body Cam Bill

HB 972 Changes How Public Gains Access to Police Video

CHARLOTTE, NC — Controversy is still swirling around House Bill 972. That’s the law that takes the power to release police body and dash camera footage away from police departments.

Friday, voters in Charlotte questioned lawmakers who represent Mecklenburg County about how they voted on the law.

Voters say they paid for the cameras to hold police accountable. If they can’t see the footage, they say there’s no point.

“There needs to be some discussion as to what the rationale is behind voting for this bill,” said Bishop Kevin Long.

Long is the leader of United Urban Faith Network. He gathered with voters to question legislators who passed the new law.

Before, a police chief decided whether to release the video footage to the public. People in the video had access to it. Now, a superior court judge will decide.

“It is not a perfect pathway. It is a pathway,” said Sen. Joel Ford.

Sen. Ford was one on stage who voted in favor fo that new law.

“It should not be left up to a politician or police chief,” said Sen. Ford. “It should be left up to an independent judge to make that decision in an expeditious manner.”

Those who voted against the bill like Rep. Tricia Cotham says she fears some families can’t afford to fight for footage in court.

“Your access to justice is going to cost upwards of 200 dollars,” said Rep. Cotham.

Lawmakers at the forum promised to amend the new law in January.

Taxpayers at the forum want the video quickly and free.

To see the entire law, click here.

To see how Representatives voted, click here.

To see how Senators voted, click here.