Michigan sets rules for retention, release of police camera footage

Michigan legislators gave unanimous approval in July to a bill that sets statewide rules for the retention and release of footage captured on police body cameras. HB 4427, signed into law in July, takes effect in January. It requires evidentiary recordings to be kept by law enforcement for at least 30 days. Footage related to complaints against a police officer must be retained for three years; any recording that is part of an ongoing criminal investigation must be kept until completion of the legal case.

Also under the new law, camera footage captured in a private place (“a place where an individual may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance”) is exempt from the state's public records law. However, if the subjects of these recordings want a copy of the footage, law enforcement must provide them with the recordings.

Over the past three years, legislatures in at least six other Midwestern states — Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota and Nebraska — have passed laws that set guidelines on police use of body cameras and/or public access to the recordings.
Stateline Midwest: August 20172.46 MB