FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/26/2015
RON REYNOLDS RELEASED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT TODAY REGARDING THE PASSAGE OF SB 158:
"Body Cameras are now a reality in the state of Texas. This historic legislation paves the way for police departments throughout the state to equip their officers with body cameras."
"SB 158 was passed today, and is set to become law pending Governor Abbott’s signature. I want to thank Senator Royce West for his leadership and tireless work in getting the bill passed through the senate. My body camera bill, HB 474 was a near identical bill. This was one of my top legislative priorities coming into this session.
"This legislation will help increase transparency and will help build trust between communities of color and police by recording direct footage of police conduct. It will also decrease excessive use of force complaints against police. This will save taxpayer money by reducing costs of internal investigations and litigation. There were numerous national incidents of unarmed black people being killed by police that sparked the demand for criminal justice reforms such as body cameras. Some of these tragic incidents inspired the Black Lives Matter movement and included Jordan Baker, Mike Brown, Walter Scott, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray.
"The passing of this legislation goes to show that real changes happen when the community speaks up. Body cameras were a central topic during recent town halls, panel discussions, and rallies. The conversation then came to the capitol, and now body cameras are a reality. The voice of the people could not be ignored.
"I am proud to see the legislature taking such a progressive step to support our communities, police, prosecutors, and taxpayers. This legislation is a shining example of policy over politics, and I hope that we can build on this success going forward. It is my goal that every police officer in Texas will eventually be equipped with a body camera."