New Mexico mandates police body cameras in wake of protests

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FILE – In this April 15, 2020 file photo New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gives an update on the COVID-19 outbreak in the state Capitol during a news conference in Santa Fe, N.M. The leader of one of the largest Native American tribes in the U.S. called Wednesday, June 23, 2020, on Lujan Grisham to end efforts to fight a court ruling that orders improvements in education for members of his tribe and other vulnerable groups. (Eddie Moore/The Albuquerque Journal via AP, Pool,File)

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s Democratic governor has signed legislation to require that police officers wear body cameras as a deterrent against excessive use of force. Signed Wednesday, the policing reforms apply to local and state law enforcement officers with the exception of tribal agencies. The state’s Democrat-led legislature approved bill in June during a four-day special session. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham first called for the body camera requirements amid demonstrations set off by George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police. A bill sponsor has invoked the death of Antonio Valenzuela at the hands of Las Cruces police officers in a video-recorded encounter in February that has led to charge of involuntary manslaughter against one officer.

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