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Police Body Cam Bill Stalls Over Burden-Of-Proof Provision

Current Indiana law does not specifically mention police body camera footage, so it’s classified as “investigatory record,” meaning the police don’t ever have to release it.

Proposed legislation would give the public – and news organizations – a better chance at getting the footage. But if police refuse, it would be up to the people requesting the footage to prove to a judge they should get it – not to law enforcement to prove why they shouldn’t give it up.

Speaker Brian Bosma held the bill off the House floor calendar for more than a week and says he wanted time to investigate concerns he’d heard about that burden-of-proof provision.

“It’s an important bill," Bosma said. "It’s a hot topic and we just want to be sure we do it right.”

The bill's author Kevin Mahan (R- Marion), a former county sheriff, said he doesn’t want to overburden cash-strapped local communities and law enforcement agencies.

“If they have to run to a court of law every time that they have something that they feel, at the time, needs to be kept under wraps, I can’t imagine the immense burden that that would put upon them in spending the tax dollars,” Mahan said.

The bill is available for amendments on Monday’s House calendar.

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