We Have A Right To Police Camera Footage

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Sponsor: The Veterans Site

Incidents caught on video by police chest and dash cams should be public record


Today's police and law enforcement have no shortage of tools to help them protect and serve, but those tools shouldn't be used to hide the truth.

From kevlar vests and riot shields, to pepper spray and the AR-15, modern police forces are being outfitted with military grade equipment to keep law and order. These items provide protection for officers, while dash and chest cameras capture each interaction, often providing valuable evidence.

There's no denying police officers can make mistakes. That fact has been shown by too many headlines and viral videos depicting innocent people shot by police. But North Carolina is hiding those mistakes with the passage of a law which states the police may decide if or when to release body-camera footage.

When citizens of the United States are crying out for ethical and just policing, allowing law enforcement to censor chest and dash cam videos creates further dissonance and distrust between people and police.

Almost two years before North Carolina enacted its new law, the murder of Laquan McDonald was captured on five different police cameras, including that of officer Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. A court would later find Van Dyke guilty of killing McDonald, shooting him from about 10 feet away. Law enforcement and other government officials kept the video secret for over a year before the public was allowed to see what had happened.

This lack of transparency has been called out by many, including leading members of the Police Benevolent Association."It is critically important that our chiefs and sheriffs, as officers of our courts, have the opportunity to utilize our judiciary in determining what is protected evidence of a police investigation versus what is public record," wrote association president Randy Byrd. "It is puzzling to us that our new governor, who spent the past 16 years as North Carolina's 'Top Cop,' would consider judicial review pursuant to the rule of law to somehow be problematic."

The police forces that protect and serve the United States must follow the guidelines of civil servants. There is no reason to hide such evidence from the public.

Sign below to ask the Governor of North Carolina to repeal this law.

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The Petition:

Dear Governor of North Carolina,

I am writing to you to express my dismay and shock at the passage of a law which allows police to censor the footage captured from body and dash cams.

Dash and chest cameras capture each interaction on digital recording, often providing valuable evidence.

There is no reason to hide such evidence from the public they profess to aid. Today's police and law enforcement have no shortage of tools to help them protect and serve, but those tools shouldn't be used to hide the truth.

There's no denying police officers can make mistakes. That fact has been shown by too many headlines and viral videos depicting innocent people shot by police. But North Carolina is hiding those mistakes with the passage of a law which states the police may decide if or when to release body-camera footage.

When citizens of the United States are crying out for ethical and just policing, allowing law enforcement to censor chest and dash cam videos creates further dissonance and distrust between people and police. You must not allow this rift to deepen by allowing this law to stand.

Recall the murder of Laquan McDonald, which was captured on five different police cameras, including that of officer Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. A court would later find Van Dyke guilty of killing McDonald, shooting him from about 10 feet away. Law enforcement and other government officials kept the video secret for over a year before the public was allowed to see what had happened.

No one wants a situation like this to repeat itself, but this law widely paves the way for possibility. This lack of transparency has been called out by many, including leading members of the Police Benevolent Association.

"It is critically important that our chiefs and sheriffs, as officers of our courts, have the opportunity to utilize our judiciary in determining what is protected evidence of a police investigation versus what is public record," wrote association president Randy Byrd. "It is puzzling to us that our new governor, who spent the past 16 years as North Carolina's 'Top Cop,' would consider judicial review pursuant to the rule of law to somehow be problematic."

Governor, it is up to you to repeal this draconian law and I demand that you do so. The people must know the truth about how their rights are being protected and served. Anything less is an affront to the freedom of Americans.

Sincerely,

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