To increase protections for New Jersey communities and police officers, legislation to statutorily require uniformed New Jersey law enforcement to wear body cameras cleared its first legislative hurdle with approval by the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Community and Development Affairs Committee on Monday.
Two measures were approved in committees concerning the wearing of body cameras by police officers: A-4271 sponsored by Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex) and A-4312 sponsored by Assemblywomen Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Middlesex), Shavonda Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic), and Cleopatra Tucker.
The sponsors issued the following joint statement on their measures:
“Police body cameras have become an essential part of community policing today. They aim to ensure accountability for any actions which take place during a police stop, whether it is by the officer or a resident.
“Tensions surrounding community policing escalated after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The distrust between communities of color and law enforcement is once again highlighted in the national spotlight. A body camera is only one way of ensuring greater transparency and accountability for law enforcement, and to rebuilding community relations; however, it can be a uniquely powerful tool in getting there.”