State legislators advance a bill that would outline how police departments use body-worn cameras.
Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha tells colleagues LB 1000 doesn’t require Nebraska police to wear cameras, but directs the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice to develop a model policy for their use.
“When implemented correctly, body-worn camera can promote transparency and accountability of law enforcement,” Mello tells the Unicameral during legislative floor debate.
Sen. Tanya Cook of Omaha cautions colleagues against viewing body-worn cameras as a panacea to resolving accusations of police brutality, noting Eric Garner’s death in New York City police custody was caught on camera.
“His death was witnessed by a body-worn camera worn by law enforcement in New York,” Cooks states. “So, the fact that it was witnessed, first of all didn’t stop the behavior that led to Mr. Garner’s death.”
Nebraska police departments will not have to use body-worn cameras, but if they do, they must have a written policy for their use. They can use the model policy developed by the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement or their own stricter version.
Each agency would have to retain footage for at least 90 days, longer when footage could be used in open cases.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]