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Monday, January 11, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - Some bills being heard in committee this week #2

Another Committee hearing now scheduled with bills of interest to ILB:

The ILB had a post on HB 1022 earlier today, "More on: Does Bauer bill impact pending ESPN/Notre Dame police records lawsuit?"

Alicia Kelly of the Marion Chronicle-Tribune had a story this weekend on HB 1019, headed "Indiana House bill lets law enforcement agencies put video under wraps." (Here via Indiana Economic Digest) The long story begins:

Under a bill authored by State. Rep. Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City, law enforcement agencies would be able to decide what police videos from body camera and patrol car cameras could be released to the public.

The preliminary draft of Indiana House Bill 1019 proposes that law enforcement agencies will release video footage at their own discretion.

Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for Hoosier State Press Association, said the bill would put the media at the mercy of what law enforcement agencies want the public to see.

“What this bill does is hand all the records to law enforcement as far as the release of cruiser or body camera footage,” Key said. “It creates a category that says they can use the footage at their own discretion and keep it confidential without pretext to protect an ongoing investigation.”

Key said the proposed bill, a product of the Regulatory Reform Committee that met three times during summer 2015, was considered to be a work in progress by members of the committee.

“I think a lot of the members thought the bill was a work in progress, but wanted to spark something to get the bill filed in this legislative session,” he said. “I would call this a hurried approach to draft something. When the committee meets on Tuesday I hope they take that draft and move forward.”

Key said the Hoosier State Press Association will be attending the committee hearing and is seeking major changes to the bill.

“There are a multitude of reasons for them to not make a video recording available, but the only incentive for them to make it available is when it makes the law enforcement agency look good to the public,” Key said. “The burden will not be on the agency. It will be on the individual or public to convince a judge that the recording should be released. The concern from law enforcement is that they don’t want to be in the situation where they have to constantly go to court to fight it.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 11, 2016 06:44 PM
Posted to Indiana Government