New NC bill allows police body cam footage to stay secret

Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 972 saying police footage is no longer on public record

You would think, after the fatal police shootings from last week flooding the news, everyone would want to take every possible measure to prevent such tragedies. You would be wrong. You would think everyone would try to be on the right side of history, but that is not the case in North Carolina thanks to the new HB 972 bill.

North Carolina, my home state and home of the infamous ‘Bathroom Bill’, has done it again. Governor Pat McCrory has now signed HB 972, which allows police body camera footage to be kept a secret, where it is no longer public record. Sure, you could have it revealed through court orders, but of course, that is going to be a difficult and most likely unsuccessful process.

Governor McCrory

McCrory defends the bill saying not having it would cause public mistrust and lack of respect in the police force in North Carolina. The bill’s main sponsors were retired police officers, themselves.

But if police are public employees, then what they do should be considered public. Also, if nothing is wrong, then why not show footage?

Many argue that all footage should not be public due to privacy rights of those being filmed, but when it comes to cases such as police brutality, it is very important for this footage to be available and not hidden. There can be a common ground, but HB 972 is not the answer.

People took to social media to express their discontent:

These kind of bills pose serious questions to the North Carolina public, such as how does privacy play into police body camera footage. Bills like HB 972 say that North Carolina is not helping to end police brutality as much as it could be.

Police are there to protect and serve and North Carolina can be doing so much better than this. Isn’t it about time, NC, we moved on the right side of history?