In the wake of the deadly shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte and arguments over the release of the police video, it’s easy to get confused about the law – what it is, what it isn’t, how it’s changing.
Jonathan Jones, director of the non-partisan North Carolina Open Government Coalition cuts through some of that with this Q&A on police video and the law.
From the piece:
Q: So what is changing on Oct. 1?
A: At the request of several municipal governments, the General Assembly took up a bill this year to clarify the law on police videos and public records. The law primarily does four things. 1) It declares that police video is not subject to the personnel statutes. 2) It removes all police video, including body camera, dash camera and surveillance video, from the public record. 3) It creates a limited right of access for people who appear in videos to see the video, and an appeal process should they be denied. 4) It requires a court order for release of any video, and provides courts with some guidance as to when a video can be released.
Q: Will the new law cover videos recorded before Oct. 1?
A: Probably. The law is silent on whether or not it applies to videos made prior to Oct. 1. It is likely that any requests for video made after Oct. 1 will be subject to the new law.
The whole piece is well worth your time as we’re all going to be having these discussions for quite some time – and they aren’t likely to get more simple.