Cross-Posted from 18 Million Rising.
Police recordings — taken on vehicle dashboard cameras and body-worn cameras — are a matter of public record vital to preserving civil liberties. Under most states' laws, it's up to city government to decide whether or not to release them in cases of public interest, like when an officer uses deadly force against a civilian.
In North Carolina this week, the state legislature passed House Bill 972: a bill that gives police departments direct control, and greater discretion, over how and under which circumstances this crucial video footage is released to the public. We have 10 days to convince Gov. Pat McCrory to veto the bill — or it becomes the law.
Laws like HB972 will make it harder for families to find justice for their loved ones. It already took the family of Chieu Di Thi Vo, a Vietnamese woman with bipolar disorder, two years to see video footage of her last moments of life after she was shot and killed by Greensboro Police Department (GPD) officer T.J. Bloch.
Her family repeatedly requested to see Officer Bloch's body camera footage. The Greensboro Police Department denied their requests while publicly claiming that "Chieu Di lunged at officer Bloch [with a knife], yelled that she would "gut" the police officer in Vietnamese, and that Chieu Di's mother's life was in danger."
Last month, the footage was finally released revealing that the police had lied.