ATLANTA, Georgia – Georgia State Rep. Sandra Scott (D-Rex) has put forward separate bills that would, if enacted, require that law enforcement officers wear body cameras on-the-job.
Law enforcement officers might also have to submit to a citizen review board. Members of such a board would review law enforcement officers’ actions in the line of duty. Scott would also strip law enforcement officers of certain legal immunities they have as they do their jobs, thus subjecting them to civil liability.
One of Scott’s bills, which she called The Police Accountability Act, requires that all law enforcement agencies provide body cameras to each of their officers on and after July 1, 2024. The bill also provides “that law enforcement officers alleged to have committed misconduct or a violation of law while acting within the scope of his or her official duties or employment shall be subject to lawsuit or liability.”
In an email, The Georgia Star News asked whether state government officials would pay for these body cameras? Will state officials instead pass down unfunded mandates to individual counties and other local governments to pay for the body cameras? We also asked how much it would cost to provide every law enforcement officer in Georgia with a body camera — now and every following year, taking wear and tear issues into account.
Scott did not return The Star News’ request for comment before Wednesday’s stated deadline.
Another of Scott’s bills, The Ethical Policing Act, recommends that a citizen review board oversee law enforcement officers.
According to the language of that bill, this citizen review board must “reflect the general demographics of the jurisdiction it serves as reflected in the most recent United States decennial census.”
Members of this board would have the power to examine records of complaint against a law enforcement officer and his or her disciplinary records. They could also “examine, at will, complaint records and records of disciplinary action to assess a law enforcement agency’s overall policing culture for conformance with ethical policing.”
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