Amended in Senate August 18, 2015

Amended in Senate July 2, 2015

Amended in Assembly May 22, 2015

Amended in Assembly May 4, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 21, 2015

Amended in Assembly March 16, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 69

Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez

(Coauthor: Assembly Member Weber)

December 18, 2014

An act to add Section 832.18 to the Penal Code, relating to peace officers.


AB 69, as amended, Rodriguez. Peace officers: body-worn cameras.

Existing law makes it a crime to intentionally record a confidential communication without the consent of all parties to the communication. Existing law exempts specified peace officers from that provision if they are acting within the scope of their authority.

This bill would require law enforcement agencies to consider specified best practices when establishing policies and procedures for downloading and storing data from body-worn cameras, including, among other things, prohibiting the unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution of the data, and establishing storage periods for evidentiary and nonevidentiary data, as defined.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


Section 832.18 is added to the Penal Code, to



(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to establish
4policies and procedures to address issues related to the
5downloading and storage data recorded by a body-worn camera
6worn by a peace officer. These policies and procedures shall be
7based on best practices.

8(b) When establishing policies and procedures for the
9implementation and operation of a body-worn camera system, law
10enforcement agencies, departments, or entities shall consider the
11following best practices regarding the downloading and storage
12of body-worn camera data:

13(1) Designate the person responsible for downloading the
14recorded data from the body-worn camera. If the storage system
15does not have automatic downloading capability, the officer’s
16supervisor should take immediate physical custody of the camera
17and should be responsible for downloading the data in the case of
18an incident involving the use of force by an officer, an
19officer-involved shooting, or other serious incident.

20(2) Establish when data should be downloaded to ensure the
21data is entered into the system in a timely manner, the cameras are
22properly maintained and ready for the next use, and for purposes
23of tagging and categorizing the data.

24(3) Establish specific measures to prevent data tampering,
25deleting, and copying, including prohibiting the unauthorized use,
26duplication, or distribution of body-worn camera data.

27(4) Categorize and tag body-worn camera video at the time the
28data is downloaded and classified according to the type of event
29or incident captured in the data.

30(5) Specifically state the length of time that recorded databegin delete shallend delete
31begin insert is toend insert be stored.

32(A) Unless subparagraph (B) or (C) applies,begin delete a law enforcement
33agency shall retainend delete
nonevidentiary data including video and audio
34recorded by a body-worn camerabegin insert should be retainedend insert for a minimum
35of 60 days, after which it may be erased, destroyed, or recycled.
P3    1An agency may keep data for more than 60 days to have it available
2in case of a citizen complaint and to preserve transparency.

3(B) begin deleteA law enforcement agency shall retain evidentiaryend delete
4begin insert Evidentiaryend insert data including video and audio recorded by a
5body-worn camera under this sectionbegin insert should be retainedend insert for a
6minimum of two years under any of the following circumstances:

7(i) The recording is of an incident involving the use of force by
8a peace officer or an officer-involved shooting.

9(ii) The recording is of an incident that leads to the detention
10or arrest of an individual.

11(iii) The recording is relevant to a formal or informal complaint
12against a law enforcement officer or a law enforcement agency.

13(C) If evidence that may be relevant to a criminal prosecution
14is obtained from a recording made by a body-worn camera under
15this section, the law enforcement agencybegin delete shallend deletebegin insert shouldend insert retain the
16recording for any time in addition to that specified in paragraphs
17(A) and (B), and in the same manner as is required by law for other
18evidence that may be relevant to a criminal prosecution.

19(D) begin deleteAn agency establishing procedures for a body-worn camera
20system shall end delete
begin insertIn determining a retention schedule, the agency should end insert
21work with its legal counsel to determine a retention schedule to
22ensure that storage policies and practices are in compliance with
23all relevant laws and adequately preserve evidentiary chains of

25(E) Records or logs of access and deletion of data from
26body-worn camerasbegin delete shallend deletebegin insert shouldend insert be retained permanently.

27(6) State where the body-worn camera data will be stored,
28including, for example, an in-house server which is managed
29internally, or an online cloud database which is managed by a
30third-party vendor.

31(7) If using a third-party vendor to manage the data storage
32system, the following factorsbegin delete shallend deletebegin insert shouldend insert be considered to protect
33the security and integrity of the data:

34(A) Using an experienced and reputable third-party vendor.

35(B) Entering into contracts that govern the vendor relationship
36and protect the agency’s data.

37(C) Using a system that has a built-in audit trail to prevent data
38tampering and unauthorized access.

39(D) Using a system that has a reliable method for automatically
40backing up data for storage.

P4    1(E) Consulting with internal legal counsel to ensure the method
2of data storage meets legal requirements for chain-of-custody

4(F) Using a system that includes technical assistance capabilities.

5(8) Require that all recorded data from body-worn cameras are
6property of their respective law enforcement agency and shall not
7be accessed or released for any unauthorized purpose, explicitly
8prohibit agency personnel from accessing recorded data for
9personal use and from uploading recorded data onto public and
10social media Internet Web sites, and include sanctions for violations
11of this prohibition.

12(c) (1) For purposes of this section, “evidentiary data” refers
13to data of an incident or encounter that could prove useful for
14investigative purposes, including, but not limited to, a crime, an
15arrest or citation, a search, a use of force incident, or a
16confrontational encounter with a member of the public. The
17retention period for evidentiary data are subject to state evidentiary

19(2) For purposes of this section, “nonevidentiary data” refers
20to data that does not necessarily have value to aid in an
21investigation or prosecution, such as data of an incident or
22encounter that does not lead to an arrest or citation, or data of
23general activities the officer might perform while on duty.

24(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to limit the
25public’s right to access recorded data under the California Public
26Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of
27Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).