police_body_cameraRALEIGH—Some state lawmakers are looking to make it mandatory that law enforcement officers wear body cameras on the job.

The most recent headline of an officer killing an unarmed man in South Carolina, adds to a growing list of police shootings that have been scrutinized nationally.

The proposal is aimed creating more transparency and accountability with deaths of unarmed suspects at the hands of law enforcement officers. As debates have been ongoing about conduct and accountability, some lawmakers in North Carolina are working to create a way to take some questions out of the investigation.

A state House proposal would require that law enforcement officers wear and activate body cameras during most interactions with the public.

Bill sponsors say this is not meant to indicate that law enforcement officers are doing anything wrong in North Carolina, but he said perception of openness to the public is important.

“But the majority of our police and law enforcement officers are waking up every day doing an incredible job protecting us. And it is unfortunate that sometimes when these things happen that we kind of focus on the negative. So the body camera bill is not a way to punish police officers in no way. It is a way to strengthen the relationship between the community and the law enforcement,” said Rep. Cecil Brockman, a Guilford County Democrat.

The NC Sheriffs’ Association has come forward to say they have concerns with the legislation. They point out that no other equipment used by law enforcement is legislated and say there are many other variables they believe should be studied before this is mandated.

– Loretta Boniti