FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Compression Tactical Bra - Cheata Tactical
Patented technology is designed to provide the stability of 2-3 sports bras,...

Top News

15 State Legislatures Considering Bills to Limit Public Access to Police Video

March 23, 2015  | 

Legislatures are seeking to limit public access to police videos, in order to preserve the privacy of subjects and save money. (Photo: File Photo)
Legislatures are seeking to limit public access to police videos, in order to preserve the privacy of subjects and save money. (Photo: File Photo)

State legislators around the country are pushing to make it much harder for the public to obtain police officer body camera videos, undermining their promise as a tool people can use to hold law enforcement accountable.

Lawmakers in at least 15 states have introduced bills to exempt video recordings of police encounters with citizens from state public records laws, or to limit what can be made public.

Their stated motive: preserving the privacy of people being videotaped, and saving considerable time and money that would need to be spent on public information requests as the technology quickly becomes widely used.

Advocates for open government and civil rights are alarmed, the Associated Press reports.


Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

kevCopAz @ 3/23/2015 4:35 PM

Im not a great legal scholar, but should be rather simple. Go by the same laws that regulate releasing departmental reports and information. If the investigation is still underway and releaseing the video (reports etc) would or even could interfere with that investigation then video/reports etc are not released. If the release could influence such things as jury pool selection etc never release until court is over. Once the investigation is over, any court proceedings are over and it does not endanger victims, witnesses or officers then everything in videos and police reports should be released. Some redaction may be necessary to protect folks but for the most part once its adjudicated then release them not before. Seems common sense and simple, obviously I am NOT an attorney or a Judge if I think that way.

tom @ 3/24/2015 5:45 AM

It all comes down to the money. How much does it cost an agency to have someone review the video, to duplicate the video, to have a review by the municipal attorney ? Once you factor these costs into it, most people will not want to pay to get the copy. This is the same thing that is done for an FOIA request, and I believe should apply to any video or audio request. Our department has a minimum $5.00 copy fee for any report. It is amazing how many people decide they don't want a copy of something, when they find out it will cost them $5.00. Just imagine how many will have second thoughts about a DVD copy of a video that could cost hundreds of dollars. Just sayin.

TX Lawman @ 3/24/2015 6:22 AM

We have already had several groups here and the media asking for every video we have. We are talking tens of thousands of dollars in costs. Money is the main issue for us, not what's on the video.

TMF @ 3/24/2015 7:33 AM

I respectfully disagree "kevCopAz." On your point of redacting, this can be a time consuming process and create a burden. Video evidence, unlike written reports, give a visual description of the incident which will make its way through social media and probably land on every news station and more fodder for an unfriendly vocal political group. We have nothing to hide but with this technology I don't think for now its a good idea. I don't think the public can handle the truth.

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Vehicular Terror Attack in Spain Kills 12, Two Arrested
Spanish officials have confirmed that 12 people are dead and as many as 100 people are...
Philadelphia Police Union Wins $8 Million Settlement in Smartphone Overtime Dispute
Philadelphia's police union just won a first of its kind case in an overtime dispute with...
Video: Car Theft Suspect Dies in Jump, Fall from Los Angeles Port Crane
A suspected car thief has died after leading police on a chase through the Long Beach area...
Family of Slain WI Deputy Receives Signed Packers Jersey, Honored by Sheriffs' Association
The family of a Wisconsin sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty received a special...
3 Washington Officers Sickened by Drug Fumes During Warrant Arrest, Fentanyl Suspected
Three Arlington (WA) Police Officers were taken to an area hospital Monday after a...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine