SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
SENATE BILL 368
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
RELATING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT; PROVIDING EXCEPTIONS IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS TO THE REQUIREMENT THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT USE BODY-WORN CAMERAS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 29-1-18 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2020 (1st S.S.), Chapter 7, Section 1) is amended to read:
"29-1-18. REQUIRING CERTAIN LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO USE BODY-WORN CAMERAS WHILE ON DUTY--EXCEPTIONS--ADOPTION OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES GOVERNING USE.--
A. A law enforcement agency shall require peace officers the agency employs and who routinely interact with the public to wear a body-worn camera while on duty, except as provided in Subsection B of this section. Each law enforcement agency subject to the provisions of this section shall adopt policies and procedures governing the use of body-worn cameras, including:
(1) requiring activation of a body-worn camera whenever a peace officer is responding to a call for service or at the initiation of any other law enforcement or investigative encounter between a peace officer and a member of the public;
(2) prohibiting deactivation of a body-worn camera until the conclusion of a law enforcement or investigative encounter;
(3) requiring that any video recorded by a body-worn camera shall be retained by the law enforcement agency for not less than one hundred twenty days; and
(4) establishing disciplinary rules for peace officers who:
(a) fail to operate a body-worn camera in accordance with law enforcement agency policies;
(b) intentionally manipulate a body-worn camera recording; or
(c) prematurely erase a body-worn camera recording in violation of law enforcement agency policies.
B. The provisions of Subsection A of this section shall not apply when a peace officer:
(1) conducts an undercover operation sanctioned by a law enforcement agency; or
(2) conducts an explosive recovery and disposal operation to render safe or disassemble an explosive or incendiary device and materials.
[B.] C. Peace officers who fail to comply with the policies and procedures required to be adopted pursuant to Subsection A of this section [shall] may be presumed to have acted in bad faith and [shall] may be deemed liable for the independent tort of negligent spoliation of evidence or the independent tort of intentional spoliation of evidence.
[C.] D. As used in this section:
(1) "body-worn camera" means an electronic device worn on a person's body that records both audio and video data;
(2) "law enforcement agency" means the police department of a municipality, the sheriff's office of a county, the New Mexico state police or the department of public safety; [and]
(3) "peace officer" means any full-time salaried or certified part-time salaried officer who by virtue of office or public employment is vested by law with the duty to maintain the public peace; and
(4) "undercover operation" means an operation that:
(a) is conducted by one or more law enforcement agencies that is focused on a suspect or suspects who are the target of an ongoing criminal investigation;
(b) involves one or more covert operatives whose identities are concealed and kept confidential; and
(c) is designed to either obtain information about criminal activity of individuals or organizations through the development of ongoing relationships with individuals or organizations or to effect an arrest."
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