NEW JERSEY LEGISLATURE PROPOSES BODY CAMERAS FOR ALL POLICE OFFICERS
Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
On February 3, 2020, the Legislature introduced Senate, No. 1163, sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner, Assemblywoman Cleopatra G. Tucker and Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr. that requires body cameras to be worn by all New Jersey uniformed police officers. These include State, county, and municipal patrol law enforcement officers. The body camera will record audio and video.
Some exceptions to this requirements include:
- Engaging in an undercover assignment;
- Assigned to non-uniformed duties;
- Serving in an administrative position within the department;
- Meeting with a confidential informant;
- Engaging in union representation of a member of the collective bargaining group;
- Directed by the Chief or a superior officer for a lawful purpose;
- Detective or investigator of a county prosecutor’s office or Division of Criminal Justice when authorized by the County Prosecutor or Attorney General; or
- At the request of a member of the public pursuant to rules developed by the Attorney General.
The body cameras would be funded by forfeiture funds collected pursuant to N.J.S.2C:64-6.
This proposal made its way to the Governor Murphy’s desk and was sent back on a conditional veto, over concerns about funding. Now, the bill has been revamped and is in the works of becoming law once again.
The proposal comes on the forefront of police brutality incidents and fatal shootings including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. This requirement has been in the works for years and has never been closer than now to becoming law.
It is important to understand that these provisions are still proposed, and will not be law until the legislature votes on the proposal, and the governor signs it into law. Until that time, we will continue to track the progress of this proposed bill, and any other changes as to police body cameras.
At Hark & Hark, we represent clients in Superior Court and municipal court for criminal matters, including 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, 4th degree, disorderly persons, municipal ordinances and traffic violations including DUI / marijuana DWI. We vigorously defend our clients by fighting to uphold their constitutional rights, and ensure law enforcement follow proper procedures to legally make an arrest.
We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing criminal charges similar to this circumstance, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any town in New Jersey including Borough of Clayton, Township of Deptford, East Greenwich Township, Township of Elk, Township of Franklin, Borough of Glassboro, Township of Greenwich, Township of Harrison, Township of Logan, Township of Mantua, Township of Monroe, Borough of National Park, Borough of Newfield, Borough of Paulsboro, Borough of Pitman, Township of South Harrison, Borough of Swedesboro, Township of Washington, Borough of Wenonah, Township of West Deptford, Borough of Westville, City of Woodbury, Borough of Woodbury Heights, and Township of Woolwich.