Under current law, police can classify body camera footage as part of the “investigatory record,” meaning it doesn’t ever have to be released. Rep. Kevin Mahan’s (R- Hartford City) House Bill 1019 would allow the public and the press to seek a court order to release the footage. To do so, the person requesting the video would have to prove releasing footage is in the public interest and wouldn’t put someone at risk or potentially tamper with a trial.
“I’m a citizen of this state,” Mahan said. “I could be the victim of a crime or I could be the victim of police misconduct, and I feel pretty comfortable with where this bill is.”
Mahan’s bill polarized the House, largely along party lines. Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D- Indianapolis) said police footage should be readily accessible to the public.
“The recordings are public records and should be made available to the public without any legal or court actions,” Pryor said.
The House approved the bill 65 to 30, with two Republicans joining Democrats in voting no. The measure now moves to the Senate.
This article originally appeared on indianapublicmedia.org