Gov. Cooper vetoes SB 168 after days of protests

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday night vetoed a bill that included a provision that would have limited transparency in death investigations, according to a news release.

Protesters have been voicing their disapproval of Senate Bill 168 for days. They were concerned it could have led to death investigation records being shielded from the public, especially as they call for more transparency in cases of deaths at the hands of the police.

Under current state law, unnatural deaths in law enforcement custody must be reported to a county medical examiner. Then, if the death is under the medical examiner’s jurisdiction, an investigation is launched and related records are passed to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Those related records become public once law enforcement hands it over.

“While I believe neither the Department of Health and Human Services which proposed it, nor the General Assembly which unanimously passed it had any ill intent, the concerns that have since been raised make it clear this provision should not become law,” a news release from Cooper’s office read.

Raleigh police said 20 people were arrested Thursday during a demonstration in which protesters blocked Capital Boulevard. Protesters also gathered multiple times outside of the Executive Mansion over the past week or so.

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