Yale Media Law Clinic Releases Paper On Access To Police Body Camera Footage

The Yale Law School Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic has announced the release of a new white paper,  “Police Body Cam Footage: Just Another Public Record,”  which advocates for public access to the footage collected by such cameras.  The white paper

[D]etails the great public interest in disclosure of the images captured by police body cameras and comprehensively demonstrates that standards already well established in state open records laws are more than sufficient to protect privacy and prevent interference with on-going criminal investigations.

By releasing the paper, the clinic is aiming to highlight an issue it believes is frequently ignored in the criminal justice reform discussion. Without public access to body camera footage, the cameras cannot serve their purpose as public oversight tools, the white paper finds. The Clinic encourages state legislatures to preserve public access to body camera footage so that the press, watchdog organizations, and individuals affected by police encounters can collectively work to ensure institutional accountability.

[Disclosure: I am a supervising attorney for the clinic.  I did not participate in the research or drafting of the white paper.]