Iowa law vague on police video footage as open records, officials say

When police cameras roll, they can capture captivating and informative images.  But not all of those videos are being released for public consumption.

In part because of haziness in Iowa law, disputes have arisen over when police dashboard and body camera footage should be made public and when it can be withheld by law enforcement.


Kansas lawmakers want to limit release of police video

Kansas lawmakers are working to restrict public access to law enforcement body camera footage in an effort to protect the privacy of people caught on camera. 

A bill introduced by the House judiciary committee last week would limit release of the video to the people in the footage, their attorneys and their parents if they are minors. The public would have access to footage only through a court order. A judge could release the recordings if it is in the public’s interest or if it wouldn’t interfere with a police investigation.


NYPD Demands $36,000 “Copying Fee” for Access to Cops’ Body Cam Footage

In April 2015, the New York City television station NY1 filed a open-records request for “unedited video files from the NYPD’s body camera program” captured during five specific weeks in 2014 and 2015. Four months later, the New York City Police Department agreed to review and release the footage—but only after NY1 paid a $36,000 “copying fee.” NY1 appealed the N.Y.P.D.’s decision and, in a letter dated September 16 of last year, was once again denied by the N.Y.P.D.’s deputy commissioner of legal matters.


Editorial: Body camera footage is public

Body cameras are about accountability. They are good for citizens and they are good for police officers.

Especially important in the wake of recent encounters that resulted in death, officers who wear body cameras can provide greater accountability to the people they protect — and at the same time protect themselves from false accusations.


Evans police body camera footage used to confirm excessive force complaint

Last month, Evans police Chief Rick Brandt participated in a panel discussion about body-worn cameras and publicly revealed an incident some chiefs might prefer to sweep under the rug.

In July, following the arrest of a man suspected of being involved in a fight at a house party, Brandt fired one of his officers after camera footage confirmed he had used excessive force while placing the man into custody.


DC body-cam access aired on Newseum TV

“Cameras, Cops and Accountability,” a Newseum TV event co-sponsored by the D.C. Open Government Coalition, featured a panel discussion on the legal and policy considerations regarding public access to police body camera footage.

Although the panel addressed body camera policy nationwide, the main focus was on access to body camera videos, legislation and proposed regulations in the District of Columbia. Continue…