Reps introduce new House bill to shed light on police interactions gone wrong.
The law is meant to prevent situations like the November 2017 death of an unarmed Virginia man, Bijan Ghaisar, who died at the hands of United States Park Police officers in Fairfax County, Virginia. The 25-year-old had fled a car crash, but it remains unclear exactly why federal officers opened fire.
The House members, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), said in a Friday statement that absent dashboard camera footage, Ghaisar’s parents would know even less than they currently do as the FBI has yet to release any public information about the case.
“The Ghaisars have experienced a tragedy with no access to information and would still be left completely in the dark if it were not for the Fairfax County Police Department,” Norton said in a statement. “We owe it to the Ghaisars to do everything we can to ensure other families are not similarly left in the dark.”
The two lawmakers note that both DC and Fairfax County mandate their officers to already observe a camera requirement.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, just five states have enacted laws that require at least some officers to use body-worn cameras.