NEW MEXICO LAWMAKERS BACK MANDATORY POLICE BODY CAMERAS

AppleMagazine|June 26, 2020

NEW MEXICO LAWMAKERS BACK MANDATORY POLICE BODY CAMERAS
New Mexico’s Legislature approved a proposal to make police body cameras mandatory for nearly all state and local law enforcement officers, sending the bill to supportive Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for final approval.

The Democrat-led House of Representatives voted 44-26 on the Senate-approved police accountability reforms that provide exceptions for tribal authorities.

Video must be archived for 120 days, and police agencies that flout the camera requirement could be sued for withholding evidence, under the legislation.

The bill also includes new sanctions for police convicted for unlawful use of force or failure to stop excessive force by colleagues permanently revoking police certification unless the conviction is pardoned by the governor.

Lujan Grisham has urged the Legislature to seize upon the momentum of demonstrations set off by George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police to enact policing reforms including mandatory body-worn cameras for police.

Presenting the bill on the House floor, Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena of Mesilla said police transparency reforms are urgently needed.

“Our communities have a right to feel safe in their lives, they deserve to live with respect and dignity,” Lara Cadena said. “We have our own stories about encounters (with police) that have gone wrong and ended with death.”

Lara Cadena said that 26 out of 33 county sheriff’s departments already use body cameras. Bernalillo County SheriffManuel Gonzales, elected by New Mexico’s largest county that encircles Albuquerque, has long expressed opposition to body cameras.

articleRead

You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD

Log in, if you are already a subscriber

GoldLogo

Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories and 5,000+ magazines

READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE

June 26, 2020