“Body Cameras Won’t Bring Justice”: Why Pennsylvania’s Chapter 67A Does Not Promise Police Accountability
Volume 91, No. 2, Spring 2019
By Peter Hyndman [PDF]

In Pennsylvania, the growing demand for BWCs culminated in the passage of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 560 (S.B. 560) on July 7, 2017. The bill added Chapter 67A to Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, “clearing the way for the use of police body-worn cameras.” Although Chapter 67A does not require police departments to implement BWCs, supporters of the law believe that it will encourage more departments to begin using them. But much to the chagrin of civil rights activists and organizations like the ACLU, the law also provides sweeping restrictions on public access to the resulting BWC recordings. Chapter 67A both exempts all audio and video recordings made by law enforcement from Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law and further limits public access by implementing a “heavily restrictive process for members of the public to obtain” such recordings.

Peter Hyndman is a J.D. Candidate, Temple University Beasley School of Law, 2019.