Bill that could allow capturing video of police heads to Pine Belt senator's desk

By Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi Senate will soon look at a bill that would allow you to turn the camera on law enforcement whenever or wherever.

"No one has spoken to me for or against this bill," said Senator Joey Fillingane.

The bill Fillingane is referring to is House Bill 168. The bill is being sent to the Senate Judiciary "A" Committee, chaired by Fillingane, and if passed into law, would allow anyone to record uniformed officers while they're on the job.

"I am not going to be in favor of any kind of bill that is viewed as punitive towards our law enforcement officials," said Fillingane.

Fillingane says he hasn't seen the bill, and although he doesn't want to judge it before reading it, he sees no use for it.

"Out on their own property you can do pretty much anything you want as long as it is not illegal, including video taping someone. But if they are talking about in a public place...if they are stalking these law officers just to try to catch them doing something they feel is improper, I don't think I would be in favor of anything along those lines," said Fillingane.

Fillingane says so far he hasn't heard a legitimate claim for the need for citizens to record law officers and says police dash cameras do the job.

"In many of those incidents the whole procedure is already being taped by the cameras that are mounted on the dash boards of the law enforcement officers vehicles. So, do you want to have your own copy of what's going on when you already being taped?" said Fillingane.

Fillingane says there's also a concern of privacy and job performance.

"When you are video taping me you are making me nervous. I am more concerned about what is going on this video tape than I am about doing my job, and protecting the public interest. So, I think there are privacy concerns too from a law enforcement stand point," said Fillingane.

The bill passed in the House by only three votes and isn't expected to have much of a chance if brought to the Senate floor.

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