GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Days after the body camera footage of Tyre Nichols was released, the discussion of how body camera footage in North Carolina could be sparking up again.
Some would consider North Carolina to be one of the strictest states when it comes to body camera footage being released. But right now, it’s unclear if those strict laws could change.
Under N.C. law, footage from body cameras worn by law enforcement is not considered public record. Therefore, by law, police and sheriff departments cannot release footage on their own. What makes our state different from other states is in order for footage to be released, there must be a petition sent to the court and that’s when a judge could decide whether the full video gets released or just part of it.
“We need to be more transparent when people are reaching out, wanting to understand to make sure when they say we are here to help people we want to make sure everybody knows we did everything we could,” said District Eight House Representative Gloristine Brown. “You’re not hiding anything. But the bodycams, you can’t go wrong with a camera. The camera tells the truth.”
Andrew Brown, Jr. was shot by an Elizabeth City police officer in 2021. A judge ruled that only a portion of that footage could be released and viewed by family members.
Now with the footage being released of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, Rep. Brown said it’s about transparency.
“The truth needs to be told and sometimes it can be a little harsh to see what actually happened but at least there’s transparency and I think people will respect you more when they see you’re not trying to hide anything,” Brown said.
WNCT reached out to Republican lawmakers on the topic but hasn’t received any statements or responses.