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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 negative light.

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