There is an inconsistency across police departments when it comes to releasing body camera footage to the public. Cities have varying stances in their response to requests for this law enforcement footage. 

Judges are more inclined to grant requests for video release if the city/town of the police department doesn’t object. If there is an objection, this can create a significant hurdle for people who are alleging police misconduct. Civil rights and criminal defense attorneys suggest that a city’s position on the release of police videos significantly impacts the outcomes of hearings. 

Emancipate NC’s Ian Mance was quoted in a recent News Observer article about this topic:

“The situation can be particularly frustrating for people who are trying to clear their name after a clash with police. That’s because history has shown that courts and the general public often believe police officers. One of the kind of insidious things about this body cam law is it creates a situation where police officials can mischaracterize your actions, and you can’t tell your side of the story.”

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