What's included in Illinois police body camera proposal

  • Protestors rallied in Waukegan last month after Lake County prosecutors said there would be no charges in the death of Justus Howell, who was killed by a Zion police officer in April.

      Protestors rallied in Waukegan last month after Lake County prosecutors said there would be no charges in the death of Justus Howell, who was killed by a Zion police officer in April. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/2/2015 4:11 PM

Weeks after the shooting of Justus Howell by a Zion police officer was ruled a justifiable homicide by prosectors, Illinois lawmakers sent Gov. Bruce Rauner a plan that would set guidelines for law enforcement body cameras statewide.

Rauner hasn't said whether he will sign it into law.

 

"The governor will carefully consider any legislation that crosses his desk," said Rauner's spokeswoman Catherine Kelly.

Footage of the Zion police officer shooting Howell was caught on a security camera, but the new body camera legislation could bring changes to the reviewing of police-involved shootings if Rauner signs off.

Here's what the proposed state law would do:

• Departments wouldn't be required to have the cameras, but the plan provides a way to pay for them and how they should be used.

• A $5 increase on all traffic tickets would pay for body cameras and increased officer training.

• Body cameras used by law enforcement would be turned on when an officer is interacting with someone during a call for service or is engaging in law enforcement activities.

• Cameras would be turned off upon the request of a victim or witness, or when the officer is talking to a confidential informant.

• Recordings would be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act unless they are "flagged" for evidence they contain involving a use-of-force incident, the use of a weapon or a death.

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• Officers would have more training involving the proper use of force, cultural competency and civil rights

• Officer-involved deaths would be investigated by a third party, including a public report from independent investigators if the officer is not charged

• A database would keep track of officers who were dismissed on counts of misconduct or who resigned during any misconduct investigations.

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