Is police body camera footage public?

Police body camera
Minneapolis Police Lt. Greg Reinhardt held up two body cameras the department started using Friday, Nov. 7, 2014 at Minneapolis City Hall.
Jennifer Simonson | MPR News

As law enforcement agencies across the state are outfitting officers with body cameras, debate is rising about whether footage from these cameras should be public.

Some have questioned if agencies are rushing to adopt the technology too quickly before a solid regulatory framework has been developed around their use.

A new bill in the Minnesota House proposes that all body camera data be considered private. But civil rights advocates say this would undermine police accountability. And some say existing law already keeps the most sensitive material out of the public eye.

Professor Bill McGeveran, who specializes in data privacy law at the University of Minnesota, joined MPR News' Tom Weber to walk through existing policies governing what police footage is public and what is not. Why does policy sometimes lag before use when it comes to new technology in our communities?

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