Thursday, March 10, 2016

Disclosure laws for police body cams

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 3:44 PM

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There's a nifty website where you can find out how each state stacks up on laws regarding police body cams, and other related laws.

Find that website here.

It shows that in most states, police public records are exempt from public disclosure, and that's true in many respects here in Colorado. Hence, the Independent has been unable to obtain various Colorado Springs Police Department records, including those of past internal affairs investigations of Officer Nicholas Ryland, who reportedly has a past record of use of force, as alleged by the attorney in the case of an Alzheimer's patient who was bullied by police. See our report on that here.

Specifically, Colorado's law governing criminal justice records allows police agencies to withhold records the release of which would be contrary to the public interest, and the agencies themselves are authorized to make that call.

Some time ago, the CSPD asked the public for input for its body camera program, which gets under way in full steam later this year. That final survey report isn't done yet, but according to a preliminary report below, the department hasn't yet made a decision on when the footage from body cams will be released or whether the CSPD will inform someone who's caught on the footage that it will be released prior to doing so.

In addition, 94 percent of respondents to the survey "think the cameras will show CSPD officers usually handle the public appropriately."

Read the report here:

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