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Bill Requiring Police Video Disclosure Advances in Kansas Senate

Lenexa Police Major Dawn Layman wearing a body camera while visiting the Statehouse in 2015. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

The Kansas Senate has advanced a compromise that would make it easier for some people to get access to police body camera footage. As Stephen Koranda reports for the Kansas News Service, some lawmakers aren’t fully satisfied with the legislation.

The bill would allow people in police videos, or their families to get access to recordings within 20 days. In the past, it could take months for families to see a video and find out what happened in the case of a fatal police shooting or other confrontation.

Democratic Senator David Haley said he would like to go further, with statewide rules regulating the use of body cameras. But Haley said he is supporting the bill.

“It’s a baby step. I think it puts in place a foundation for all departments to follow, and it’s important to have that structural foundation,” Haley said.

A previous version of the bill would have required quicker public access to videos, but law enforcement agencies said the tight timeframes were impractical.

A similar bill has already passed the House. However, the Senate made a small change to the bill, meaning it will need further consideration should it pass the Senate.


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