Michigan Police Body Camera Bill Would Regulate Footage

A proposed bill would define how long police body camera footage would be kept, and who could see it.

The Michigan House is working on a measure to regulate footage shot by police body cameras. The bill would prohibit films of private places from becoming public, unless the video is connected to a criminal investigation. Representative Jim Runestad says, at the moment, Michigan does not have any rules governing what happens to police footage after it is taken.

“It’s pretty much a department by department Wild West show, and departments themselves wanted guidelines, because of course there could be litigation if you delete information, there’s costs associated with how long you have to retain it.”

-Jim Runestad

Runestad says if the proposal is approved, departments would only be required to store footage related to criminal activities for 30 days, unless it is needed for an ongoing investigation. He says he introduced the measure in the legislature a few days ago, and plans to move forward with it in a few weeks.