State representative vows to push for change for Alabama body camera law

Representative Laura Hall said she wants the body camera video released from the Planet Fitness shooting after the investigation is complete.

Posted: Nov 7, 2019 8:14 PM
Updated: Nov 8, 2019 8:13 AM

Some people in Madison County started demanding the release of body camera video as soon they learned about the deadly shooting by Madison police.​

We repeatedly asked the Madison County sheriff and the city's police department about the video.​ On Thursday, the sheriff shared his strong response to the request.

"When we investigate a case and we take evidence, that is our work product. We cannot release evidence to the public, nor can we release the evidence or the video involving this case. That is the City of Madison's property," said Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner.

Despite asking nearly every day, we still haven't received even a statement from the mayor of Madison. The city has put out only two statements that are each three sentences since the shooting.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office spoke Thursday afternoon for the first time since a town hall on Monday. At that town hall, was State Representative Laura Hall (D), District 19.

WAAY 31 asked Hall if it was time to change the law letting law enforcement keep all body camera video private.

"Any state that is not releasing the body camera, that does not have a policy in place for releasing it at some point, is certainly behind the curve," said Hall.

Hall saw firsthand the demand for change when it comes to Alabama's body camera laws. She was one of hundreds of people packed into this town hall meeting earlier this week.

"I heard a lot of emotions. A lot of questions seeking answers, and I would say that was a big thing, looking for answers," said Hall. "I think that was a very intense meeting."

Hall started representing Madison County in 1993. She said this is the first time she can remember there being a demand to change the law. A bill was introduced earlier this year, but it was quickly killed in Montgomery.

Now, Hall can see and hear her constituents' concerns.

WAAY 31 asked Hall if she would support and co-sponsor a bill regarding body camera video in the next legislative session.

"Of course, I have no problem with that," she said.

Hall said she wants to see the city of Madison release the body camera video from the shooting in the Planet Fitness parking lot where Dana Fletcher was killed.

"I do. I think once they have completed the investigation, it should be available," she said.

Hall said she wants to see restrictions put on how long agencies can wait to release body camera footage.

On Thursday, the sheriff's office said even though they investigated the shooting involving Madison police, the Madison Police Department owns the video and would have to be the ones to release the footage.

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