In a press conference on Thursday morning, Chief Kerr Putney announced that he would not release the dashcam video of the 43-year-old black man who was shot and killed on Tuesday near the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. When asked about the transparency promised by his office, Chief Putney said: “I never said full transparency. I said transparency—and transparency is in the eye of the beholder.”
Putney’s decision comes shortly before a new state law, signed by Republican Governor Pat McCrory in July, goes into effect on October 1. HB 972 states that recordings made by the police are not public records, which means individuals seeking a public release of an audio or visual recording must file a court order.
Under current law, however, Chief Putney and his department can release or withhold recordings at their discretion. But with 10 days until the law goes into effect, people still have time to make a public request for Putney to release the footage. In fact, according to Alan Pyke at ThinkProgress the North Carolina ACLU is already pushing for Putney and the Charlotte police to release the video “in the interest of transparency.”