Body camera bill reignited, passed to appropriations

Nearly a year after its last hearing, legislation that would provide public access to video footage, AB 748 was up in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and was voted out on a 6-1 bipartisan vote.

The bill creates an exception to the investigatory records exemption, Gov. Code 6254(f), which is often utilized by law enforcement agencies across the state to deny any access to footage.

AB 748 would create a statewide, minimum standard that also permits enforcement under the Public Records Act for a wrongful denial of access. The bill comes in the wake of cities like Los Angeles and Sacramento, recently releasing footage of critical incidents in accord with local policies.

However, without the CPRA’s enforcement standard, agencies are free to selectively release footage to tell their own narrative, a criticism already levied at the LAPD in light of the first release of footage under their new policy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The bill will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee in August.