Lawmakers Consider Police Body Cameras

May 25, 2015

Protests in Ferguson prompted some cities and states to look at changing police protocol.
Credit Chris McDaniel/St. Louis Public Radio

In the wake of officer-involved deaths in Ferguson, Baltimore and New York City, Springfield is looking at how to change Illinois laws regarding police officers.

In the final days of the General Assembly's session, Rep. Elgie Sims, Jr., a Democrat from Chicago, says he'll sponsor legislation that would require police wear body cameras. He says the package would also ban law enforcement from using chokeholds.

"We're trying to make sure that the general public feels safe. If you're gonna--when you put body cameras in place, you want to make sure the general public is safe, but officers are safe too," Sims said. "We've got a lot of good officers who are out there, and we want to make sure that that work is coming through."

But with only days left on the legislative schedule, there seem to be unresolved questions. Sims says he doesn't want the state to force municipalities to pay for cameras, especially when many cities are already facing budget cuts, but the state is facing its own, huge deficit.