Chicago’s Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill) introduced a bill in Congress Wednesday that directs states to require their law enforcement agencies to establish policies on using body and dashboard cameras, a statement from Rush’s office announced.
Rush’s bill requires states to certify to the Department of Justice that they are enforcing police camera policies. States would lose 10 percent of their federal funding if they failing to comply with the “Laquan McDonald Camera Act of 2017,” which calls for police accountability.
“This legislation seeks to restore some of the public’s trust in law enforcement at a time when trust is at an all-time low.” Rush said in the statement. “There has been a wave of questionable police shootings that resulted in the deaths of unarmed citizens — or people who appeared to be of no threat at the time of the encounter.”
The bill is named for 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. In 2014, a police dash cam video, released by a judge’s order, shows Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke gunning down the teenager. The video contradicted the written accounts of police officers at the scene who claimed that McDonald lunged at them with a knife.
The Huffington Post reported that Van Dyke, who’s on trial for first-degree murder, “intentionally damaged” his dash cam recorder and failed to sync his microphone. There’s a pattern of Chicago cops tampering with their dash cams and mics, the outlet reported.
“Cases, such as Laquan McDonald, Mike Brown, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are brutal illustrations on why we need a clear documentation of facts when citizen-encounters with police turn deadly,” the congressman added.