Should police dash-cam footage be released without consent of citizens on video? – Seattle News – MyNorthwest.com

Posted: March 4, 2012 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

Should the City of Seattle release police dashboard camera videos without the consent of the citizens shown on them?

The city attorney is going to court Tuesday to find out.

Normally these videos get out in public when people claim police misconduct or that they were treated unfairly.

But the city is being asked to release a bunch of these videos, though the people being arrested, detained, or contacted by police, haven’t given their consent.

Attorney James Egan requested to see three dozen videos that might show questionable actions by the police. He believes all police videos should be available to the public so it can monitor how police officers are behaving.

“I am passionate about transparency and accountability,” said Egan. “I do have a vision, and I think most of us have an expectation, especially after such a skewering finding by the Department of Justice, that we are entitled to know what’s going on.”

But Egan doesn’t represent the people in those three dozen cases, and Seattle City attorney Pete Holmes said that could put Seattle in a tough legal position. He’s worried releasing the videos without the consent of those shown will open the city up to lawsuits.

“If we get it wrong we will be subjected to criminal and civil liability,” said Holmes. “That’s the kind of liability that a city really should not get into.”

Holmes is asking a judge whether the city should release the videos under the state’s public records act or hold them because of the privacy act.

via Should police dash-cam footage be released without consent of citizens on video? – Seattle News – MyNorthwest.com.

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