Washington Legislature's body-cameras bill spurs debate

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — An attempt by the Washington state Legislature to regulate how police body cameras will be used is being criticized by groups concerned with open government and civil liberties.

House Bill 1917, which is currently under review by the chamber's rules committee, would require a court's permission to release footage from body cameras worn by police officers to anyone not directly involved with an incident. The court would have to find that releasing the video is in the public interest, and every person pictured in the video would be allowed to challenge its release.

The bill would also expand the state's wiretap law to allow police with a warrant to record conversations an officer isn't part of.

Opponents say the bill should be studied by a panel of privacy rights and government transparency advocates before a law is passed.