The ACLU of Maryland opposes HB 1638 as currently drafted. The provision in this bill dealing with body worn camera (BWC) video (called “personal surveillance video” here) is virtually identical to legislation that has been proposed for the last two legislative sessions (SB 970 in 2017, and SB 930 in 2016) and heard in the Judicial Proceedings Committee. In 2016 the bill did not get a vote, and in 2017 it received an unfavorable report. While this year’s bill has additional, completely unrelated provisions (which we discuss separately below), the provisions relating to BWC footage are the same as the earlier versions of the bill that we have opposed, and that have been previously rejected by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. For the reasons that follow, we urge an unfavorable report, absent a key amendment that would address our concerns.
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