Michigan Lawmaker Shuns Federal Funding for Police Body Cameras
State Representative Tom McMillin says he wants police to have body cameras to avoid situations like that which occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, when a white police officer shot and killed a black teen. But he questions whether the state needs to rely on the federal government to make the purchase.
MLive.com reports that the Rochester Hills Republican is against accepting the $75 million federal funding to buy cameras for the nation's cops. Additional money would also be allocated for training.
McMillin questions from where the money will ultimately come.
"Frankly, the feds have put me and my kids in enough debt, I wouldn't want them adding to it," McMillin told MLive. "Them providing body cameras to state and local police officers in Michigan isn't a proper role of the federal government, in my opinion. We could figure out how to pay for it here in Michigan."
He introduced House Bill 5970 last night. It would require all police officers in the state who carry a weapon to wear the body video camera. It could be turned off during private times. Videos would have to be held for three years where arrests are made in the event of a complaint being filed.
The big question is: if the feds don't pay for the equipment, then who will?
McMillin says the money would come from the Michigan State Police budget.
But some are already pushing back claiming they're already financially strapped and couldn't afford the equipment and the data storage too.
Lawmakers have until the end of the lame-duck session or HB 5970 would have to be reintroduced in 2015. While McMillin is term-limited, other lawmakers have expressed an interest in carrying the torch into the next term.
McMillin's legislation came in response to the police shooting of a black teen in Ferguson, Missouri. Many claim had the officer been wearing a body-camera, the violence that ensued might not have happened.
What do you think?
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