MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — A bill that would create a process for people to get police body camera footage is heading to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk.
House Bill 289 (HB289) is sponsored by Representative Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham). She says it is meant to increase police transparency. The bill passed in the Alabama Senate on Thursday after passing in the Alabama House on May 24.
HB289 would establish a process for people to file requests to view police body cam and dash came footage, in the case that they, or a person they represent, are in the video, visually or audibly.
A ‘representative’ would be able to request the video if the person captured in the footage is a minor or is otherwise incapable of requesting the video themselves.
The bill would require any individual wanting to view footage to submit a written request to the law enforcement agency where the video o. The request must state the date and time of the activity captured in the video, or otherwise identify “the activity with reasonable particularity sufficient to identify the recording to which the request refers.”
After receiving the request, the bill would require police departments to either disclose the portion of the video relevant to the request or notify the person making the request if they choose not to disclose the recording.
Law enforcement agencies could choose not to disclose the recording if they believe it would affect an active investigation or prosecution.
Givan previously told News 19 that HB289 is meant to help give families answers and increase transparency.
“What we are saying is we’re giving enough that the representatives of those families can get some general information as to what happened,” Rep. Givan said.
While the bill does explicitly address requirements for the disclosure of footage for individuals, it does not address a process for the public release of body cam footage.