New Bill Aids Law Enforcement To Disclose Or Release Recordings

New Bill Aids Law Enforcement To Disclose Or Release Recordings

7:33pm Feb 22, 2021
WFDD file photo.

A new bill in the North Carolina General Assembly would make it easier for law enforcement agencies in the Triad to share videos and photographs.

Right now, there are limits to what recordings and images can be shared and with whom. The Law Enforcement Recordings Bill/Winston-Salem is proposed by Democratic Senator Paul Lowe. It would expand the ability of law enforcement to give them to other agencies, school resource officers, citizen review boards, city or town managers and councils, and, in limited cases, the media.

Criminal defense attorney James Quander says that while some of these tools may be useful, the level of subjectivity in the amendment is concerning.

“I can imagine a scenario where you would allow your city council members to come on camera and discuss contents of a recording that they had seen, and comment on whether or not it was, in their opinion, police brutality or not,” says Quander. “It could create issues where cases are tried in the media with folks who essentially would be witnesses to what they had seen in the recordings.”

Senate Bill 109 passed its first reading last week in the General Assembly and awaits further action.

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