Minnesota Rep Joe McDonald (R-Delano) is a supporter of a bill introduced by Rep Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center) to severely limit public access to video data collected by body cams. Under this proposal, the police would control release of theses images.
McDonald says, “Who are we trying to protect with body cams? If we don’t trust the police to protect and serve, then we have a deeper problem in our nation. Deeper problem. So first we have to fix that, if that is a problem.”
McDonald thinks that body cams can be helpful in fixing that. He says squad car cams are a good example of “protecting the public and the police.”
McDonald says Cornish’s bill would require blurring the faces of minors and others that do not wish to be seen before the video could be released. He admits that will be expensive.
Even though he wants the police to control the release of the images, McDonald sees the need for public access. “You know your police force is part of the public entity, part of the public service, so we pay taxes, so in theory we own part of that data.”