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Florida Lawmaker Files Police Body Cameras Bill, Says 'It's Not Anti-Police'

Rep. Shevrin Jones' twitter account

A Florida lawmaker has filed a bill requiring law enforcement officers to wear body cameras while out on patrol.

It’s not a coincidence Rep. Shevrin Jones’ (D-West Park) bill was filed after the nationwide debate began over police officers’ use of force, sparked by the fatal incidents in New York and Missouri.

“I know there’s a lot going on as it pertains to Eric Garner, I know the Ferguson situation is going on, a lot is going on, but those incidents’ were not the entire impetus behind the filing of the bill,” said Jones.

Jones, who also works for the Broward County Sheriff’s office, has already received complaints from people who call it an “anti-police” bill. But, he says he really filed the “Police and Citizen Protection Act” to protect both residents and law enforcement.

“To individuals who think this is an anti-police bill or people against police officers, I think this is a win-win for everyone,” Jones added. “This bill now starts the conversation to where individuals should not have to point fingers anymore of ‘the officer did this’ or ‘the civilian did this.’ No, well, the proof is there. The proof is in the camera.”

Jones says he’s already in talks with a number of law enforcement agencies to make sure this is not an unfunded mandate. Meanwhile, President Obama recently asked Congress to fund 50,000 body cameras.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.