N.C. to limit public access to police recordings

WEST VALLEY CITY, UT - MARCH 2: A West Valley City police officer shows off a newly-deployed body camera attached to his shirt collar on March 2, 2015 in West Valley City, Utah. West Valley City Police Department has issued 190 Taser Axon Flex body cameras for all it's sworn officers to wear starting today. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
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WEST VALLEY CITY, UT - MARCH 2: A West Valley City police officer shows off a newly-deployed body camera attached to his shirt collar on March 2, 2015 in West Valley City, Utah. West Valley City Police Department has issued 190 Taser Axon Flex body cameras for all it's sworn officers to wear starting today. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

On Saturday, police in Charlotte, North Carolina, voluntarily released footage from the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

A week later, and it wouldn't have been the police department's choice.

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new North Carolina law that's set to take effect Oct. 1 will require city officials to obtain a court order before body or dashboard camera footage is released.

The law is designed to protect police officers in ongoing investigations. It could also protect innocent citizens, like those in domestic dispute cases.

ExploreRelated: Dashcam and body camera footage released in shooting of Keith Scott

But some have argued that instead of restricting public access to videos, other steps could be taken to protect the identities of the people on tape, like blacking out their faces.

Although body cameras have been a step toward greater transparency, the footage hasn't necessarily been considered public information. Until now, North Carolina has mostly left it up to local police to release the video.

Advocates for the new law point out there will at least be one path for the public obtaining police recordings. Whether that path is too restrictive remains to be seen.

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