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Bill that would allow Asheville leaders to view police bodycam video appears dead

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Legislation to give Asheville leaders the ability to review privately footage from a police officer's body-worn camera appears dead after members from both parties opposed it in committee. (Photo credit: City of Asheville)

Legislation to give city leaders of one North Carolina municipality the ability to review privately footage from a police officer's body-worn camera appears dead after members from both parties opposed it in committee.

The sponsor of the House bill -- which would only apply to the Asheville City Council -- withdrew the measure Wednesday when it became clear it would be defeated.

A 2016 statewide law allows the family of someone who is the subject of camera footage to view the video. Other members of the public may ask a judge to release it.

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer said giving authority to review footage privately means the council wouldn't be caught off guard. Leaked camera footage in March showed an Asheville police officer choking a pedestrian. The officer has been charged.

Committee members said the proposal would begin to unravel a law designed to treat all situations the same statewide.

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