New Mexico adopts legislation requiring law enforcement to wear body cameras

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation on Wednesday requiring New Mexico police officers to wear body cameras.

The new policy is designed to deter officers from unlawful use of force and to cultivate enhanced accountability measures if inappropriate use of force occurs. 

The new camera requirement will apply to city police, county sheriff’s agencies, state police, and the Department of Public Safety.  Law enforcement agencies must keep the body camera footage for at least 120 days, and police who interfere with the devices or defy the requirement are subject to punishment for withholding evidence. 

New congressional legislation is complementing states’ policies to mitigate unlawful use of force. 

Senate Bill 8, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Cervantes, holds that the Law Enforcement Academy will permanently revoke certifications of officers found guilty, plead guilty, or plead no contest to crimes involving unlawful use or threatened use of force. 

Officers can also have their certifications revoked if he or she fails to intervene in a police action involving unlawful use of force. 

Senate Bill 8 complements another bill Governor Lujan Grisham signed that establishes a state Civil Rights Commission that will make legislative recommendations on public safety reform and qualified immunity. 

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