District 27 State Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City) announced that he’d just filed House Bill 474 during a community discussion about “Getting Criminal Justice Right” on Tuesday.
HB 474 would require law enforcement officers to wear body cameras on duty, so interactions with the public will be transparent. Texas’ 84th legislative session begins on Jan. 13
Reynolds said the proposed bill is part of the solution to stop future tragedies such as the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, due to the use of deadly force by law enforcement. In both cases, a grand jury declined to indict the officers involved.
“When an incident occurs and the facts of the case are disputed by police officers and suspects, the camera provides another set of facts, which may aid in determining what actually occurred,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said it’s a bi-partisan issue that benefits everyone but noted that securing funding could be a challenge.
Fort Bend Precinct 2 Constable Ruben Davis, who’s worked in law enforcement for the past 40 years, said that body cameras are necessary.
“If it takes one bad cop off the street, that’s enough,” Davis said. “Police are not right all of the time. we have to be mindful of that. When police are wrong, they need to be held accountable.”
By Michael Sudhalter