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Kyle Whitaker Blog

Are All Police Encounters Videotaped in TX?

No. Not all police encounters are videotaped in TX. While the state has a body-worn camera policy, it is not mandatory. Only seven states currently require the statewide use of body-worn cameras by the police. These states include South Carolina, New Mexico, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Connecticut, and Colorado. Texas does have laws specific to body-worn cameras and recording police encounters.

Texas Body-Worn Camera Laws

The following laws apply to body-worn cameras and police encounters:

The Problem with Texas’ Body-Worn Camera Laws

Body-worn cameras can help realize the goals of improving law enforcement-community relationships, reducing unnecessary police violence, and minimizing racial profiling when police officers use them properly during encounters with the public. But the current definitions and concepts related to body-worn camera laws are simply too vague. This can result in difficulty holding police officers accountable when allegations of violations occur.

For instance, the current laws do not provide clear definitions and concepts about the specific recording requirements when using body-worn cameras. Likewise, they don’t give specific guidance to supervisors about authorizing the deactivation of audio when recording. In addition, the current laws allow for too much discretion on the officer’s part when activating or deactivating the cameras. This lack of guidance can lead to inconsistent applications and interpretations of the laws.

Talk to an Experienced Fort Worth, TX, Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you’ve been accused or charged with a crime or believe that the police have violated your constitutional rights during a police encounter, contact the law office of Kyle Whitaker for legal advice. Arrange an appointment with our Fort Worth, TX, criminal defense attorney by reaching us online or calling 817-332-7703.