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2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
October 19, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives C. Taylor, Crowley, Sargent,
Anderson, Berceau, Bowen, Considine and Sinicki, cosponsored by Senators
Larson and Johnson. Referred to Committee on Criminal Justice and Public
AB557,1,3 1An Act to repeal 15.257 (3) and 165.87 (6); and to create 15.257 (3) and 165.87
2of the statutes; relating to: body cameras on law enforcement officers and
3providing criminal penalties.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill creates requirements for law enforcement agencies that use body
cameras on law enforcement officers, including requirements for agency policies,
which encounters must be recorded, restrictions on the use of recordings, and
retention practices as well as limitations on encounters that may not be recorded.
The bill creates limitations on access to data from body cameras. The bill makes it
a Class I felony to tamper with, delete, copy, or upload data obtained from a body
camera or to tamper with or destroy a body camera. This bill also creates the Law
Enforcement Body Camera Council in the Department of Justice to make
recommendations to the legislature and to establish best practices regarding body
cameras worn by law enforcement officers.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB557,1 4Section 1. 15.257 (3) of the statutes is created to read:
115.257 (3) Law enforcement body camera council. (a) There is created in the
2department of justice a law enforcement body camera council consisting of the
3following members:
AB557,2,74 1. Three citizens from underrepresented communities, including a citizen from
5a 1st class city, selected by the governor from a list prepared by the Wisconsin
6Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,
7Centro Hispano of Dane County, and Centro Hispano Milwaukee.
AB557,2,88 2. The attorney general or his or her designee.
AB557,2,109 3. A member of the crime victims council representing an organization
10providing victim support services, appointed by the attorney general.
AB557,2,1211 4. A sheriff, selected by the Badger State Sheriffs' Association and the
12Wisconsin Sheriffs And Deputy Sheriffs Association, or his or her designee.
AB557,2,1413 5. A chief of police, selected by the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, or
14his or her designee.
AB557,2,1615 6. The executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, or
16his or her designee.
AB557,2,1817 7. A district attorney, selected by the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association,
18or his or her designee.
AB557,2,2019 8. A state public defender, selected by the public defender board, or his or her
AB557,2,2221 9. The executive director of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, or
22his or her designee.
AB557,2,2423 10. A member or staff member of the American Civil Liberties Union, as
24selected by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin.
111. An attorney specializing in civil rights or an expert in constitutional law,
2selected by the governor from a list prepared by the State Bar of Wisconsin.
AB557,3,53 (b) Members under par. (a) 1., 3., 4., 5., 7., 8., 9., 10., and 11. shall serve for
42-year terms, and, notwithstanding s. 15.09 (2), the member under par. (a) 2. shall
5serve as the council chairperson.
AB557,2 6Section 2. 15.257 (3) of the statutes, as created by 2017 Wisconsin Act .... (this
7act), is repealed.
AB557,3 8Section 3. 165.87 of the statutes is created to read:
AB557,3,14 9165.87 Body cameras on law enforcement. (1) (a) If a law enforcement
10agency uses a body camera on a law enforcement officer, the law enforcement agency
11shall develop a written policy and conspicuously post it on an Internet site the agency
12maintains. The agency may include policies and procedures that do not conflict with
13the requirements under this paragraph and shall include all of the following in the
AB557,3,1615 1. That no personnel except law enforcement officers who have the authority
16to arrest and conduct searches may wear a body camera.
AB557,3,2017 2. That the audio and video functions of the body camera shall be activated
18when the law enforcement officer responds to a call or initiates an interaction for
19enforcement or investigation purposes and may not be discontinued during the
20response or interaction except as provided under sub. (2).
AB557,3,2221 3. How the law enforcement agency shall classify, download, store,
22administratively use, and ensure the security of data from a body camera.
AB557,3,2323 4. Disciplinary measures for violating the policy.
AB557,3,2424 5. Which employees may access data from body cameras.
1(b) If a law enforcement agency uses body cameras on law enforcement officers,
2the law enforcement agency shall train all law enforcement officers on the policy
3under par. (a) and on this section.
AB557,4,114 (c) If a law enforcement agency uses body cameras on law enforcement officers,
5the law enforcement agency shall confiscate the body camera if the camera has data
6recording an incident involving a law enforcement officer that resulted in a death or
7bodily harm to an individual, involving the use of force by a law enforcement officer,
8or involving a law enforcement officer's discharge of a firearm. No law enforcement
9officer involved in the incident may be allowed to review or be informed about the
10contents of the data before the officer completes any required initial reports,
11statements, or interviews regarding the incident.
AB557,4,1512 (d) If a law enforcement agency enters into a contract regarding any aspect of
13the use of body cameras, no party to the contract may use data from the body camera
14in a manner inconsistent with this section or with any policies and procedures of the
15law enforcement agency that are not inconsistent with this section.
AB557,4,1716 (e) No law enforcement officer may use a body camera unless he or she is acting
17on the authority of a law enforcement agency that has a policy under par. (a).
AB557,4,23 18(2) A law enforcement officer who is wearing a body camera shall notify an
19individual that the individual is being recorded as soon as practically possible if the
20law enforcement officer is going to interact with the individual for enforcement or
21investigation purposes. If the interaction is because the individual is a crime victim,
22the law enforcement officer shall obtain the individual's verbal consent before
23recording him or her.
1(3) (a) 1. Except as permitted under this section, an individual who tampers
2with, deletes, copies, or uploads data obtained from a body camera is guilty of a Class
3I felony.
AB557,5,64 2. Except as permitted under this section, an individual who intentionally
5tampers with or destroys any body camera, or part of a body camera, used by a law
6enforcement agency is guilty of a Class I felony.
AB557,5,87 3. An individual who intentionally violates sub. (1) (c) is guilty of a Class I
AB557,5,99 (b) No law enforcement officer or personnel may do any of the following:
AB557,5,1010 1. Access data from a body camera for personal use.
AB557,5,1211 2. Record a conversation in public or in a law enforcement agency without the
12knowledge of the speakers during routine nonenforcement activities.
AB557,5,1413 3. Record activity that is unrelated to a response to a call or to an interaction
14initiated for enforcement or investigation purposes.
AB557,5,1515 4. Record off-duty or personal activity.
AB557,5,1616 5. Use a body camera for a purpose other than law enforcement.
AB557,5,1917 6. Merge data from a body camera with other data collected by a law
18enforcement agency or subject data from a body camera to automated analysis or
AB557,5,2220 7. Record activity with the intent of inhibiting or curbing the exercise of a right
21under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and article I, section 18, of the
22Wisconsin Constitution.
AB557,5,2523 (c) Unless a law enforcement officer is confronting a violent suspect or
24anticipates the need to use force or unless a person is at risk of bodily harm or death,
25a law enforcement officer may not record any of the following: