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Access to police body-worn camera video

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  1. Freedom of Information
State legislation and police department policies regarding public access to police body cameras

This map shows the current status of state legislation and police department policies regarding public access to police body-worn cameras (“bodycams” or “BWCs”) around the United States under public records laws. See more notes below.

To search the map, click on the button at the top right to open in full-screen. You can then search by city, state, or police department. 

State legislation and case law

The color of the state indicates the status of legislation regarding access to BWC videos. By clicking the state you can find more information and see a link to the bill(s) and/or case(s).

Blue = Legislation regarding public accessibility to body-worn camera footage has been proposed, but not passed.
Yellow = A law has been passed regarding public access to body-worn camera footage.
Brown = No laws regarding public access to body-worn camera footage have been passed. However, some states have introduced or passed bills regarding the implementation of BWCs that do not directly address the question of whom should have public access.
Green = A court case has decided the rules regarding public access to body-worn camera footage. Click the state to read more about the decision.

Department policies

Police department policies can be found by clicking on the black camera icons. The wording of each department’s policy regarding public access is shown in the description section. Please note — some police departments that have deployed body cameras may not have a written policy.

Because only a few states have passed state-wide rules regarding public access to BWC footage, most police departments are left to determine their own rules. As more states pass regulations, individual policies may change to comply with the state’s uniform policies.

Updates

The Reporters Committee will update this map as new information becomes available. If you have information that you would like to contribute to this map, please let us know, or send email directly to guides [at] rcfp.org with “Bodycam update” in the subject line.


Funding for this project comes from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists.