May a Police Department Release its Own Body Worn Camera Footage to the Public?

Suppose that a police officer in a North Carolina city shoots and kills a person in an encounter that began with a traffic stop. There is extensive media coverage of the shooting. The mother of the person who died tells reporters that her son was driving home from work and never made it home. She describes her son as “a hard-working boy who never caused trouble for anybody.” The police chief has seen the recording from the officer’s body-worn camera. That footage shows the suspect jumping from his car and pointing a gun at the officer. The police chief wants to provide a copy of the recording to local reporters. May she do so?

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