Body camera bill on hold until lawmakers hammer out differences

Officer R.M. Medlock with the Summerville Police Department wears his body camera that he activates during every stop he makes as part of the traffic police unit.

COLUMBIA — State senators disagreed Wednesday with the changes the House made to a bill equipping more South Carolina law enforcement officers with body cameras, leaving the proposal in limbo until the differences can be worked out.

Last week, the House amended then passed a Senate bill that calls for body cameras for all law enforcement officers. But the Senate wasn’t in favor of the changes made to their bill.

The current draft of the bill — renamed after Walter Scott who was shot in the back while fleeing a North Charleston police officer — gives the state six months to study the use of police body cameras and then allows another six months to put it into practice. The Senate bill calls for quicker action.

Members of both chambers will have to hammer out their differences in a yet-to-be scheduled conference committee, before the bill can be sent to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk for her signature.