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Congressman Al Green Lauds Obama Administration’s Announced Efforts to Fund Police Body Cameras and Address the Militarization of the Police; Rallies Support for His Police Body Camera Legislation
(Houston, TX)—On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) released the following statement on the Obama Administration’s announced efforts to fund police body cameras and address the militarization of the police.
"I support the efforts of peace officers to serve and protect our community. I also believe strongly in the rule of law,” Congressman Al Green said. “However, I, along with many other people of good will, believe that more can be done to make law enforcement more accountable and transparent, such that police officers are better able to work in their communities.
Congressman Al Green continued, “I wholeheartedly support the efforts by the Obama Administration to address these concerns through Executive Action by providing funding for body cameras and initiating a review of the increased militarization of the police. I also wholeheartedly believe lawmakers should act to better understand how we can increase transparency and accountability in all levels of law enforcement. I have introduced H.R. 5407, the Transparency in Policing Act (TIP) of 2014, which would require state and local law enforcement agencies that receive funds from the Department of Justice to acquire body cameras for use by their law enforcement officers. Although, this bill is not a panacea, it is a significant step in the right direction. I believe that having our officers wear body cameras can bring much-needed additional transparency to communities in future controversial police/civilian actions. Currently, numerous major police departments around the country have conducted studies, introduced pilot programs, or currently require officers to wear body cameras, including the Ferguson Police Department. While this is a positive development, like the President’s Executive Action, the TIP Act would allow us to move forward together as a nation on the issue of transparency and accountability in law enforcement rather than one city, county, or state at a time.”
On September 8, 2014, Congressman Al Green introduced H.R. 5407, the Transparency in Policing (TIP) Act of 2014, which would require state and local law enforcement agencies that receive funds from Department of Justice to acquire body cameras for use by their law enforcement officers. It would require that the Attorney General conduct a study on the cost of using body cameras by state and local law enforcement agencies. The bill would also grant the Attorney General the ability to waive the requirement for the purchase of body cameras if compliance was determined to create a hardship for a particular law enforcement agency.