Pa. Senate OKs bill to clear way for more police body cameras

     (NewsWorks file photo)

    (NewsWorks file photo)

    Legislation advancing in Pennsylvania would clear legal hurdles for police departments to expand the use of body cameras, but it also gives departments discretion to refuse public requests for copies of audio or video recordings by officers, unless a court orders its release.

    Senators approved the bill, 47-1, on Wednesday, sending it to the House of Representatives. A similar bill died in the House last year after the Senate passed it in the legislative session’s final days.

    The bill covers audio and video recordings by officers, including from body cameras and dashboard cameras.

    It is supported by law enforcement organizations, but opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which says it’ll be nearly impossible to obtain video that’s in the public interest, even if the requester is in the video.

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