Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bad Body Cam Bill Intended To Block Public Disclosure Is Still Bad

The Hoosier State Press Association may have signed off on HB 1019, but this bill remains what it always been all about: a legal means of shielding from public disclosure bad behavior of police police officers. If a member of the public wants footage taken by a body or dash cam of a police officers made public, he or she will still have to go to court to obtain a copy of it at their expense.

The original bill placed the burden on the person burden seeking disclosure of the video footage to justify its disclosure. The amended version puts the burden of proof on the police to convince a court the video footage should be kept private, which they can establish simply by saying its release would be prejudicial to an ongoing investigation or civil case. That's always going to be the case in a police action shooting. The Hoosier State Press Association is okay with it because its corporate giants have a wallet to pay to go to court when they so choose to attempt to get video footage released, the rest of the public be damned.


Anonymous said...

Sort of related?

Anonymous said...

Is there a limit on the length of time the police can keep video obtained by body cam in a situation where they were called for assistance and no charges were filed and there was no investigation started or ongoing?

Is there a time limit under any circumstances and if so, what are the limits?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I believe there is a time limit on retention. Click on the bill link and read the language if you're so inclined.

Anonymous said...

It's 180 days, anonymous. Also problematic:
-In public testimony, it was brought up that in the Mack Long case last April, an eyewitness recorded the shooting on his cell phone camera. Police then acquired that camera (by what means is not known, as police and the witness have not said word 1 about it since the incident was first reported). The police department has said to the family of Mack Long that that video is "unusable" and "obscured", but refused to show the widow, or family, that video. There needs to be an inclusion of 3rd party video acquired by police to also be released to family members, or the victims themselves if a police shooting/action occurs.

^The reason for this being, that eyewitness never released the video himself, and the police have the only other copy.

-To recoup court costs to anyone who requests a copy in court and is successful.

-Give unobscured copy to victim.

Anonymous said...

I blame Pence!