NJ’s Cameras-in-Cop-Cars Bill Advances
The State Senate Budget Committee has approved a measure that would require video and audio cameras to be placed in certain police cruisers, setting the stage for a vote in the full Upper House.
The main sponsor in the Assembly is Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Turnersville) who was charged with drunken driving and other charges in July 2012 despite telling police he had nothing to drink that day. Dashboard camera video from the officer’s car showed Moriarty did not cut off the officer, as the officer claimed, and showed Moriarty passed sobriety tests.
“Having a visual record of a traffic stop provides the best evidence for police to use in court,” Moriarty said. “The video doesn’t lie. It doesn’t forget what is said. It is impartial and may, in fact, help reduce protracted court cases and litigation. To not have a visual recorder in police cars used for traffic stops is like having an office desk without a computer.”
The charges against Moriarty were dismissed in early May, and the officer who filed the allegations has now been indicted on 14 criminal counts accusing him of making a false arrest and lying to support his claims.
The legislation would require new or used municipal police vehicles that are bought or leased to be equipped with cameras. Municipal police vehicles that are primarily used for traffic stops are required to be equipped with a mobile video recording system.