Getty Images / George Frey

Police Video Like This May Soon Be Harder To Access In North Carolina

The state's new body camera law is set to take effect Oct. 1.

By Ryan Biek | September 25, 2016

On Saturday, police in Charlotte, North Carolina, voluntarily released footage from the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

A week later, and it wouldn't have been the police department's choice.

new North Carolina law that's set to take effect Oct. 1 will require city officials to obtain a court order before body or dashboard camera footage is released.

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The law is designed to protect police officers in ongoing investigations. It could also protect innocent citizens, like those in domestic dispute cases.

But some have argued that instead of restricting public access to videos, other steps could be taken to protect the identities of the people on tape, like blacking out their faces.

Although body cameras have been a step toward greater transparency, the footage hasn't necessarily been considered public information. Until now, North Carolina has mostly left it up to local police to release the video.

Advocates for the new law point out there will at least be one path for the public obtaining police recordings. Whether that path is too restrictive remains to be seen.

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