January 5, 2016      5:06 PM
Obtaining police body camera footage may prove tough under new Texas law
Open records experts question how transparent the footage will actually be – police groups say it’s too soon to tell how the law will play out
Stakeholders – and there were many – in Texas' new comprehensive
police body camera law largely agree the legislation was a necessary first
step. But there are serious concerns that the law, which sets policies and
establishes a grant program to fund the cameras, will allow law enforcement
agencies to keep the public from ever seeing footage that may show police in a
Senate Bill 158, written by Sen.
Royce West, D-Dallas, was aimed
at addressing rising tensions across the country between the public and law
enforcement. Transparency in police activity has been shown to "reduce
complaints against police as well as the use of lethal force" and repair
relationships, Sen. West said.
Open records experts, though, question how transparent
the footage will actually be.
By Eva Ruth Moravec