Police body-camera footage: Too redacted, too costly, too delayed, transparency experts say

Body-cameras, heralded as a technology to enhance police transparency, haven’t done enough to ensure the public’s right to know, because agencies often heavily edit the footage. Not only does such editing obscure the footage, it also adds substantial costs and delays. That’s according to transparency experts and advocates who spoke to the Daily Memphian for…


Rules on releasing police body-camera footage vary; nine states are most restrictive, The Hill says

Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming have the most restrictive laws regarding the disclosure of police body-camera recordings. That’s according to a May 10, 2021, article in The Hill. “With no federal requirements on releasing police videos, states often differ in their approach to making the footage publicly available,…


Compilation: How local governments thwart open-records laws and keep vital information from the public.

In dozens of U.S. cities and states, the rights to publish state and local laws don’t belong to the people or the governments. They belong to private contractors.  (Read more…) A federal law has been interpreted by many state governments and state courts to allow their agencies to keep secret studies, surveys and other data…


From $37 to $339,000: Why the Price of Public Records Requests Varies So Much

Local and state laws regarding what constitutes the public’s domain are about as uniform as a patchwork quilt. And technology — or a lack thereof — further contributes to the increasing cost variance between jurisdictions.

New IT software, for the governments that can afford it, has certainly sped up the time it takes to fulfill requests and thus lowered the price of information. But in some cases, technology can complicate matters. This issue is particularly heightened when privacy concerns require time-consuming redaction work.


South Portland Police Department releases its body camera policy

The South Portland Police Department has released the document that spells out its officers should use the body cameras that they will begin wearing in a few weeks.

The department posted the policy on its Facebook page following calls from civil liberties advocates for assurance the the cameras will not be used to invade people’s privacy. The policy was not initially released when the department announced that it would begin using the technology. The ACLU of Maine filed a public records request for the document, according Legal Director Zach Heiden.


Florida FAF: All Delray police officers will have body cameras within 5 years

The Delray Beach Police Department will equip all of its officers with body cameras within five years after the city agreed Tuesday to put nearly $1 million toward the venture.

“This is going to be the norm in law enforcement,” Police Chief Jeff Goldman told the city commission Tuesday evening. “We are just a proactive organization and we try to stay ahead of curve.”



Pa. Attorney: Bill increasing police body cams shouldn’t limit access to records

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 976, which would curtail public access to police body camera video and force anyone who wants access to go through a court process, has reached the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee after passing the Republican-controlled Senate last month.

Senators passed the bill 45-5 to change the state's Wiretap Act to allow police to wear body cameras into private homes and public spaces without having to explicitly inform everyone they encounter that they are wearing a camera.


NC among states to limit access to police videos

Amid a growing outcry over police shootings of black men, many states are taking actions to restrict public access to police video shot by dashboard and body cameras.

In North Carolina — where Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot last week by Charlotte police — a new law takes effect Saturday that some experts say will make it more difficult for the public to see video shot by police.