SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new California law requiring the release of law enforcement body camera footage goes into effect on Monday, July 1.
Assembly Bill 748 will require the release of recordings from body-worn cameras within 45 days of an incident, including if officers fired shots or if a use-of-force causes death or great bodily harm.
The bill was introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2018.
According to Ting, prior to the passage of AB 748, California had no consistent policy regarding the release of body camera recordings.
Many lawmakers who voted for the bill believe that footage from body-worn cameras can help shed light, increase transparency and provide clarity when there is confusion in the community after tragic events.
Critics of AB 748 have expressed concern that releasing footage could interfere with investigations and prosecutions.
This new law that goes into effect Monday requires the release of body cam video and audio recordings within 45 days unless an agency can demonstrate "clear and convincing evidence that disclosure would substantially interfere with the investigation."
The law also allows agencies to request 30-day extensions to the 45-day deadline for up to one year.
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