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14. Police video (e.g, body camera footage, dashcam videos)

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  • California

    Recordings of critical incidents, defined as including incidents involving the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer and incidents in which the use of force by a peace officer or custodial officer against a person results in death or great bodily injury, are public, subject to certain limitations and exceptions.  Cal. Gov’t Code § 6254(f)(4).

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  • Georgia

    With certain exceptions, Georgia law requires video recordings from law enforcement body-worn devices and devices inside of law enforcement vehicles to be retained for a minimum of 180 days. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-96. Unless part of an initial arrest or incident report, the recordings may be exempt from disclosure under the Act’s pending investigation or prosecution exception or if made in a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. § 50-18-72(a) (4), (26.2).

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  • Iowa

    Video recordings may not be subject to disclosure under Iowa Code § 22.7(5).  Disclosure will depend on whether the recording record is considered a report and investigatory. Neer v. State, 2011 Iowa App. LEXIS 154 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2011).  Though police investigatory reports do not lose their confidential status when the investigation ends, Iowa Code § 22.7(5) allows for “an exemption from confidentiality for basic facts about the incident” if the litigant can show that the public good of disclosure outweighs the associated public harm. Mitchell v. City of Cedar Rapids, 926 N.W.2d 222, 232 (Iowa 2019).

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  • New Mexico

    These are public except for the portions of law enforcement records subject to the exemption set forth in NMSA 1978 §14-2-1(D).

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  • Vermont

    A public record includes “any written or recorded information, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which is produced or acquired in the course of public agency business.” 1 V.S.A. § 317(b).  Thus, police videos would constitute public records under the Public Records Act.  Indeed, the Vermont Supreme Court recently analyzed a public records request to inspect body camera footage from the Burlington Police Department, see Doyle v. City of Burlington Police Dep't, 2019 VT 66, ¶ 2, and the Burlington Police Department’s Department Directive on Body Worn Camera Systems contemplates that requests for copies of videos will be made pursuant to the Public Records Act.  See https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/sites/default/ files/Police/files/

    DD14.1%20-%20Body%20Worn%20Camera%20Systems.pdf for more information.

    Any requests for police video, are, however, subject to the list of exemptions contained in 1 V.S.A. § 317(c), including: 1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(5) (records dealing with the detection and investigation of crime) and 1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(14) (records relevant to an ongoing litigation in which the public agency is a party of record).

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  • Wisconsin

    Police videos are available for inspection, subject to the balancing test. A Legislative Council Study Committee recommended legislation on body cameras, but it has not passed the legislature.

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