Share
Bi-Partisan: @SenatorTimScott Wants a Hearing on Police Body Cams #WalterScott

Bi-Partisan: @SenatorTimScott Wants a Hearing on Police Body Cams #WalterScott

UPDATE: The Senate Crime subcommittee will have hearings on police body cameras, subcommittee Chair Lindsey Graham has announced after Sen. Scott’s request.  Both South Carolina lawmakers appear to have been moved by the April 4, 2015 police shooting of Walter Scott, 50, of North Charleston, SC. 

…………………………………..

#WalterScott. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is asking for a hearing on police body cameras.  This move 112th Congresscould be a bi-partisan break on the issue that may lead to bi-partisan legislation.  On criminal justice reform there have been many bi-partisan leaps forward on regarding mandatory minimums and record expungement.  Last year the Death in Custody Reporting bill that is now law passed because both Democrats and Republicans agreed it should move forward.
Will the legislation that may come out of the hearing on body cameras resemble legislation offered by Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Al Green (D-TX) on police body cameras? Only time will tell.

The press release from Sen. Tim Scott’s office is below:

……………………………………………………………………………………………
Senator Tim Scott Requests Hearing on Body Cameras

Washington – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) today requested Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hold a hearing on the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers.

Scott wrote, “I believe that the deployment of body-worn cameras will provide increased protections for both law enforcement officers and those they serve.

I believe that the deployment of body-worn cameras will provide increased protections for both law enforcement officers and those they serve. At least one study shows that public complaints against officers wearing body cameras fell by almost 90% and that officers’ use of force decreased by 60%. At a minimum, we owe it to our communities and law enforcement officers to consider this study and other evidence to explore the wisdom of widespread deployment of body-worn cameras.

I understand that there are multiple and complex questions surrounding the use of body cameras, including privacy concerns, data retention and disclosure issues, and the effects of recording on community relationships.  It is essential that we explore these and other concerns as we foster a national discussion on body-worn cameras at a public hearing in Congress.”

Following the death of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina, Senator Scott has supported efforts by the South Carolina State Legislature to move forward with hearings on body cameras.
The full text of Senator Scott’s letter is below.