Indiana Broadcasters Applaud Compromise on Government Video Bill

Indianapolis – March 11, 2016 – The Indiana Broadcasters Association (IBA) today is encouraging Indiana Governor Mike Pence to sign House Bill 1019, new legislation that establishes a process for release of government video recorded by police dashcams and body cameras.

“We commend the Indiana Legislature for listening to their constituents on this important public interest issue.  Our association of more than 300 Indiana television and radio stations took an aggressive stand on this measure because we believe that government recordings made possible through public funding should be made available to the public,” said Dave Crooks, chairman of the Indiana Broadcasters Association.  “The Indiana bill should be a model for other states to consider on the issue of public access to government video.”

The legislation heading to Governor Pence’s desk, following approval by the Indiana House and Senate, allows any person to request, in writing, to view or copy any recording.  The public agency must allow the video to be viewed or copied unless it can demonstrate a significant risk or harm to a person or the public, that releasing the video will interfere with a person’s right to get a fair trial, that doing so will harm an ongoing investigation, or that release of the video does not serve the public interest.  Agencies are also required to obscure certain information or actions such as nudity, a person whom the public agency believes to be under the age of 18, medical information, acts of severe violence, dead bodies or any actions that identify witnesses who could be at risk.   A process has also been established with the State’s Public Access Counselor, and the courts, if someone denied a requested video wishes to appeal the decision.  Video copying fees are capped at $150.

“While the bill is not perfect, the IBA worked diligently with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to find balance that will increase public access and right to information and simultaneously protect law enforcement agencies across the state,” Crooks said.

 

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