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Charlotte mayor calls for repeal of new police video law

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts is calling for the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal a new law that restricts access to police videos.

But the conservative leaders of the General Assembly say Roberts botched the follow-up to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer last week and should take responsibility for it.

From today’s News & Observer story:

“(It’s) time for the leadership in Raleigh to take the issue of transparency and accountability seriously and repeal HB 972,” Roberts, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “At the time when our community trust is so low, we cannot afford to go backward.”

Her appeal came on the heels of last week’s shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer. Protesters and community leaders demanded the release of the videos. Police and city officials released two minutes of video four days after the shooting. Another two hours has not been released.

Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger called on Roberts to release all the videos. Berger said the mayor “botched” the city’s response to the violent protests, “ignoring repeated calls from her community and the press for transparency and answers.”

“Her complete failure in leadership illustrates the exact problem the law was designed to address: helping safeguard against when politicians like Jennifer Roberts make the wrong call like refusing to release all police footage related to this incident to the public,” Berger said in a statement. “If she is really concerned about transparency, she can and should release all videos – right now.”

The law that takes effect Oct. 1 will require anyone, including a police chief or sheriff, to obtain a court order before law-enforcement dashboard camera and body camera footage is publicly released.

 

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