Texas Observer: Body Cam Policies in Texas Exacerbate a System Designed to Protect Police, Critics Say

Texas Observer: Body Cam Policies in Texas Exacerbate a System Designed to Protect Police, Critics Say by Michael Barajas:

Civil rights advocates worry interpretation of a 2015 body camera law could help cops avoid prosecution as much as it ensures police accountability.

The senator who drafted the sweeping-but-little-noticed body camera law that the Texas Legislature passed in 2015 called his bill a blueprint for other states wanting to establish baseline standards and help fund police departments that hadn’t yet adopted the technology. But one vaguely worded line in the law also gave Texas’ body cam-wearing cops this assurance: if they ever shoot someone, they get to review their own footage before answering any questions about the incident.

At least that’s how two of the largest Texas police departments, San Antonio and Houston, interpret it. Thanks to the law’s vague wording, Dallas police take the policy even further, letting cops who shoot people review footage taken from every officer on scene before they give a statement. 

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