The legal aspect of body cameras

The legal aspect of body cameras

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The use of body cameras is becoming increasingly popular among law enforcement agencies with public outcry from two recent officer involved deaths.

On Monday, we spoke with Columbus attorney Richard Hagler about the legal aspects surrounding video recording people in public.

"My initial thought is that it would be good to have them but I'm always concerned about the right to privacy. But normally when those cameras are being used, is when people are already in the public eye," explained Hagler.

The circumstances are different when it comes to using surveillance devices during search warrants. Hagler even shared a personal encounter involving an officer.

"Several years ago, I had contact with an officer where I was a victim in a case. He wrote down something he thought I said and it was nowhere near what I said. So, it will get rid of a lot of that misinterpretation of a case of what people say, do and think under the circumstances," Hagler added. "It is likely to be helpful in encouraging proper police behavior and providing the evidence that we need in order to determine what really happened in many of these cases."

We also got a chance to ride along with an officer at Columbus State University whose been using the cameras for five years. Sergeant Michael Stewart said it's a great tool to have to capture his interactions with the public during traffic stops.

"I think it' great and anybody who requests to see it will be able to see the same thing that I am seeing," Stewart said. "It's a great tool to have."

CSU is in the process of upgrading its technology. The process is on delay until next month when officials can iron out its policies.

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