'Pioneer' Body Camera Law Signed, Hikes Traffic Citation Fines
Getting a speeding ticket in Illinois will cost you an additional $5, at least. It's part of a new state law regulating police body cameras.
A year after Ferguson, Missouri erupted in protests following the shooting of Michael Brown, Illinois has a law that's described as "landmark."
That $5 per $40 in fines tacked onto traffic citations will be used to create a fund police departments can draw on to pay for the cameras. Once they get them, the law sets standards for their use.
Rep. Jehan Gordon Booth, a Democrat from Peoria, says the law will make transparent interactions between the officers and the communities they police.
"Having these body cameras is going to completely open up an eye to the general public as it relates to what police actually deal with on a day-to-day basis," she said. "There may be occurrences where there was malfeasance. There may be occurrences where there weren’t. Now there won't be a question.”
Director of the Illinois Police Benevolent association Sean Smoot helped negotiate the measure. Smoot is on a federal task force formed after incidents like the shooting of an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri.
The new law is the first in the nation to implement the recommendations of the President's task force on 21st century police.
"There have been a myriad of bills across the country that have implemented body camera programs -- I believe there's about 30 bills that have passed in the last 12 months. None of them cover the issues involving cameras the way that our bill does," Smoot said.
The law requires mandatory training on use of force and cultural competency, and establishes a database of officers fired for misconduct. It also expands police training. The law requires a camera be turned on whenever an officer responds to a call and sets standards for how long the videos should must be retained, but it does not require all police to wear and use cameras.