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Proposed State Law Would Clarify When Police Body Cam Footage Is A Public Record

Nov 21, 2017

(L to R) State Representative Herschel Craig, Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther, and State Representative Niraj Antani at announcement of body camera footage bill
Credit Ohio Public Radio

Several communities are answering their own questions about what is and is not public record when it comes to police body camera footage. 

A state lawmaker is introducing a bill to provide a final answer. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow explains.

The bill creates several exemptions to public records laws for body cameras, such as if the video shows inside a private home, private business, or the victim of a sex crime.

 

Republican Representative Niraj Antani says body cameras are too new to have solid footing as far as public records are concerned.

 

Antani: “Right now it’s pretty much up to interpretation and it would and it will make it through the courts and then the courts would get to decide what it is, I think that it’s not up to the courts it’s up to the Legislature.”

 

Antani says any adverse police action, such as a police-involved shooting, automatically makes that video a public record.