COLUMBIA — Two Democratic state senators will prefile legislation tomorrow requiring S.C. cops to wear body cameras while on duty.
Sens. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington, and Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston – both attorneys – said a bill they will file Wednesday would require law enforcement officers in South Carolina to wear the cameras while on duty to record their activities and interactions with others.
“As chair of the Criminal Task Force, Sentence Reform Commission, Sentencing Oversight Commission and author of numerous bills in the criminal arena, my experience informs me that police officers should be collecting more evidence all the time,” Malloy said in a news release.
“History has demonstrated that eyewitnesses are not always the most reliable form of evidence,” he added. “It is time for South Carolina to invest in common sense technology. This investment is critical to preserving the integrity of our system of justice.”
Kimspon said that “Disputed facts are often an issue in encounters with law enforcement as we’ve seen with the incident between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri.”
Kimpson also said that a dashboard camera recently led to a S.C. highway patrolman’s firing and arrest after he shot an man at a traffic stop.
“Body cameras would provide everyone a clearer picture of the facts,” Kimpson said.
Wednesday is the first day state senators are allowed to file legislation for the upcoming, two-year General Assembly that starts in January.
State Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, also plans to introduce a similar bill in the House next week, when the lower chamber’s prefiling opens.