If lawmakers get their way, police video wouldn’t be public record

The Gaston Gazette is now reporting on a bill in the state legislature that would categorize police video as a record of a criminal investigation, which means it would not be a public record. Our site previously posted about coverage of the same bill in the News & Observer. The bill, which had then just passed in the North Carolina House, is now in the Senate.

The Gaston Gazette interviewed SMVT attorney Mike Tadych:

If it becomes law, it would make it more difficult to persuade departments to release video that documents the actions of police and people accused of crimes, according to Mike Tadych, attorney with the N.C. Press Association.

laws have lagged behind technology, Tadych said.

The proposed “Body & Dash Cam Recording/Public Access” bill is the first to address police video in North Carolina.

Today, each law enforcement department makes decisions on a case-by-case basis about how to treat video. That can be frustrating, Tadych said.

He has worked with publications that were denied video by one law enforcement agency while another agency in the next county released similar footage.

“We’ve had it go both ways,” he said. “Some determined it was a criminal investigation record. Some determined it wasn’t … If police think it will help, they’ll release it.”

You can read the entire article here.