Indiana Bill Would Keep Police Recordings Under Wraps - GovernmentVideo.com

Indiana Bill Would Keep Police Recordings Under Wraps

RTDNA opposes bill that would limit public and press access to law enforcement recordings
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A bill currently under consideration by the Indiana House of Representatives would keep police and other government video recordings secret.

The Radio Television Digital News Association is criticizing a bill currently under consideration by the Indiana House of Representatives that would keep police and other government video recordings secret.

Indiana House Bill 1019 was unanimously approved by the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee in January. The bill aims to limit public and press access to law enforcement recordings, and requires a court order to release recorded police body camera video.

“My goal is to implement this new technology in a manner that emphasizes the rights of transparency for the public while maintaining privacy rights,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Ind.). “When a member of the public or the media requests clips from a law enforcement recording, it is crucial to limit some access to protect those involved. To ensure that these recordings will not cause harm to any individual or the general public, and to not create a prejudicial effect on ongoing civil or criminal proceedings, law enforcement agencies will need to fully vet the situation before releasing recordings to the public.”

The RTDNA opposes the bill, calling it an “outrageous proposal” that takes government secrecy to a new level by keeping public records under wraps, said Dave Crooks, chairman of the Board of the Indiana Broadcasters Association (IBA). Crooks added that the bill would require members of the public or the media to sue and prove a need for disclosure of such video, and bear the legal costs to do so.

RTDNA, IBA and the Hoosier State Press Association say the bill runs contrary to Indiana's current public records laws, which require openness.

The bill has moved on to the Indiana Senate for consideration.

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