Police don't need permission to record their interactions with citizens using cameras worn on their uniforms, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a legal opinion Monday.
Under state Supreme Court rulings, interactions with on-duty police are presumed to be public, Ferguson said, and therefore officers are under no obligation to turn off the cameras if people object to being recorded — even if the event is being recorded in someone's home.
Law enforcement officials said the opinion clears one major hurdle for the use of the cameras, but leaves another major concern unaddressed: where to draw the line between official transparency and personal privacy when it comes to responding to disclosure requests for body cameras under the state Public Records Act.
"I have no doubt there'll be conversations with the Legislature in the upcoming session," Ferguson told reporters.
Ferguson issued the nonbinding legal opinion in response to a request from state Sen.