TCOG, League of Women Voters to host body camera forum in December

The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government and the Nashville Chapter of the League of Women Voters will host a body camera forum, “Police Body Cameras: From Privacy to Accountability — What Citizens Should Know,” Dec. 7 in Nashville. It is free and open to the public.

A panel discussion, followed by audience questions and comments, will feature Lonnell Matthews, director of the mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement; ACLU-Tennessee Executive Director Hedy Weinberg; and Davidson County Public Defender Dawn Dean.

The event will be from 4-5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 7 at the First Amendment Center at 1207 18t Avenue South.

Two weeks ago, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announced she was committed to providing funding in her next budget to pay for body cameras for all Nashville police officers. Already, multiple Tennessee cities and counties have funded body cameras for their police and sheriff’s departments.

The use of body cameras raises several issues related to citizen privacy, who has access to footage beyond law enforcement and when, and how video will be stored and used by law enforcement.

The forum is intended to be an educational event to better inform citizens and interested public officials of the various issues and perspectives surrounding body cameras, particularly as local and state policies develop around their usage.

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