RALEIGH, NC - In the wake of recent officer-involved shootings captured on video, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday signed a bill excluding police body camera and dash camera video from being scrutinized as public record.
Civil liberties groups soundly criticized the measure, saying it will deepen divides in communities already widening after the killings of black men by police officers last week in Louisiana and Minnesota.
The law allows a person shown in a video to ask police to view it, but not to copy it. Police agencies are permitted to deny such requests under the law, citing concerns about safety, reputation or ongoing investigations. Any decision regarding viewing of the video at that point, would be up to a judge.
The new law, McCrory says, balances transparency, fairness and privacy.
Attorney General Roy Cooper says law goes too far in withholding information from the public. He says recordings should be treated as public record, with some exceptions for crime victims or investigations.
The new law goes into effect in North Carolina October 1.