By Ashley Silver
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TULSA, Okla. — The line of duty death of an Oklahoma sergeant has led to a sweeping change in how police video involving the death of an officer is released.
According to KOTV News, the new law will protect families of fallen officers from having unapproved, graphic videos of officer deaths released.
In June 2020, the shooting death of Sergeant Craig Johnson was captured by police cameras and released as public record. The video helped arrest and convict the shooter, but also featured graphic content showing the officer’s murder.
Sergeant Johnson’s widow and Tulsa officers were present for a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 968, which is already in effect within the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a copy of the bill at the Police Officer’s Memorial, while conveying his support for law enforcement officers.
“It’s because of folks like this behind me that we have safe communities and as long as I’m Governor, we’re going to protect law enforcement,” Governor Stitt said during the ceremony according to KOTV News.
The law doesn’t prevent police video from being released, but individuals must go through a judge to acquire the video when it includes the death of an officer.