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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Police could refuse to release video footage in new Indiana bill"

Jill Disis reports in the Indianapolis Star on yesterday's hearing on HB 1019. Some quotes from the long story:

A newly proposed Indiana bill would allow police departments to decide whether to release video footage captured on body-worn or dashboard cameras to the general public.

House Bill 1019 immediately drew criticism from the Hoosier State Press Association, which argued the bill could undermine the purpose of such cameras in the first place: to increase police transparency and allow the public to hold law enforcement accountable.

The proposed legislation would compel police departments to show recordings of law enforcement actions only to either the person depicted in the video or that person's relatives or attorney. For anyone else, the decision to release is up to the department.

Should the agency say no, the bill says, the person requesting the video would have to take the department to court and argue for the video's release.

That's a potentially costly option without a guaranteed result, said Steve Key, executive director of the press association.

"When you get to the crux of it, it's still a bill that leaves all the cards in the law enforcement's hands," Key said during testimony Tuesday, when lawmakers began looking at the bill.

Key said that some police departments only would be motivated to release a video when it clearly exonerates their officer, adding: "The public has a right to know what police departments are doing."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 13, 2016 09:58 AM
Posted to Indiana Government