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Government & Politics

Ohio's Supreme Court Considers Whether Images from Police Body Cams are Open to the Public

Body cams

  The Ohio Supreme Court today heard from attorneys in two cases revolving around the question of whether police body camera footage is public record. 

The first case made nationwide headlines when a white former University of Cincinnati police officer fatally shot an unarmed black man during a minor traffic stop. In the other case, state troopers initially refused to release footage of a high-speed chase. The Cincinnati Enquirer sued.

And in arguments before the state's high court, the paper’s attorney John Greiner compared body cam footage to police reports, "which essentially record the initial interaction between the police and the public in written form,” John Greiner.

The state’s attorney Jeffrey Clark says the footage falls under an exemption for investigatory documents.

“And that means it doesn’t have to be released, but it doesn’t prohibit its release,” Clark explained.

In both cases, the body cam footage was eventually released.