Body-Worn Camera Bill Passes Final Vote, Big Win for Residents and Law Enforcement

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(Washington, DC) – Today, the D.C. Council passed on final reading, Bill 21-0351, the “Body-Worn Camera Program Amendment Act of 2015.” Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5), Chairperson of the Committee on the Judiciary issued the following statement:

“After nine months of extensive public and stakeholder engagement, I am pleased that my colleagues unanimously passed the ‘Body-Worn Camera Program Amendment Act of 2015.’ While this final proposal is drastically different from the blanket exemption proposed by the Executive, I am pleased with the end result that would make D.C.’s body-worn camera program one of the most expansive in the country. This final proposal strikes an appropriate balance between government transparency and protecting individual privacy rights. It puts in place strategic safeguards to ensure that MPD’s Body-Worn Camera Program will build community trust and promote accountability.

Moreover, this proposal makes D.C.’s body-worn camera program one of the most expansive in the county by prioritizing public access to recordings; requiring bi-annual reporting on the program; and protecting the privacy rights of individuals in their homes as well as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. I am grateful to the dedicated stakeholders who provided their invaluable insight and helped the Council and the Executive put forward this compromise proposal.”

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