Press Release

Turner Legislation to Mandate Release of Police Shooting Videos


from State Representative Arthur Turner, Jr.
December 10, 2015 State Rep. Art Turner

Turner Legislation to Mandate Release of Police Shooting Videos

CHICAGO – Police dashcam and body camera videos pertaining to office-related shootings and deaths would be more easily accessible to public under new legislation introduced by state Rep. Art Turner, D-Chicago, last week.

“Change is long overdue when it comes to reforming the police culture and restoring the trust that has been broken by instances such as Laquan McDonald,” Turner said. “I refuse to stand by idly and watch as people’s fear of those who are sworn to protect us grow. We need and must demand more accountability.”

Turner recently introduced House Bill 4355, which expedites the process by which footage of officer-related shootings and deaths captured from police dashboard and body-worn cameras can be requested to be released. Under current law, footage from these recording devices can be acquired under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); however, police departments were denying or indefinitely delaying the requests under certain criteria, including that the video was part of an on-going criminal investigation. Turner’s proposal would require police departments to release the footage regardless of its role in any investigation unless a judge rules that it should not be released.

“Injecting accountability and transparency in the process may not be the final solution, but it will send a message that abusing your powers will have consequences,” said Turner. “The Chicago Police Department and other departments around the state swear an oath to uphold the law with integrity and honesty. This measure is an important step to ensuring these police departments remain transparent.”

For more information, please contact Rep. Turner’s district office at 773-277-4700.