Gov. Cooper vetoes controversial Senate Bill 168

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Gov. Roy Cooper (Photo: WWAY)

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a controversial bill that would have made investigations of deaths in prisons or police custody confidential.

Demonstrators gathered for days outside the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, calling for Cooper to veto Senate bill 168, which had been on his desk since June 26. Dozens were arrested for blocking traffic, among other charges.

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The bill, while it mostly contained language about health regulations and psychiatric care, contained two sentences that caught the eyes of demonstrators, who felt the bill, if passed into law, would allow further obfuscation of investigations into deaths in police custody or prisons.

Currently, if a person dies in police custody, the investigation is considered confidential until it is handed from the police to the office of the medical examiner’s office. State officials said they wanted to streamline the system, keeping those reports confidential until the medical examiner was finished with their investigation, at which point they could decide whether to make that information public.

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