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Missouri Republicans Concerned About Privacy In Body Camera Debate

Elle Moxley

The Missouri House will take up another body camera proposal next week.

Lawmakers have filed nine different bills looking at how law enforcement officers record their interactions with the public. Proponents of police body cameras say they can provide crucial evidence in cases like the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.

Blue Springs Rep. Sheila Solon says the legislation that passed out of the Select Committee on State and Local Governments would protect the privacy of people recorded.

"This makes sure when people are having medical emergencies, or at their most vulnerable, it doesn't end up on YouTube," Solon told the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce at a breakfast Friday.

If reporters want a copy of a body camera video, they would have to request it the same way they would an incident report.

Solon says the bill has the support of sheriffs, police chiefs and the Missouri Press Association.

Solon added it's her opinion that efforts to make body cameras mandatory in cities with a population of 100,000 or more would violate Missouri's Hancock Amendment. She told the chamber municipalities should be able to make that determination locally.

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