About Privacy and Police Body Cameras Part Two
In the second part of the Privacy and Police Body Camera series, I review the actual text of California Assembly Bill 748 (AB 748). With sublime ice cream analogies, we manage to break a complicated piece of legislation into manageable bites. During the last segment I review Baby Driver, a new action movie starting Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, and Kevin Spacey.
Brief Show Notes
This bill amends Section 6254 of the California Government Code, which deals with the disclosure of public records. The Government Code already prohibits the release of public records pertaining to pending litigation until the case is settled. This matters because AB 748 doesn’t specify the timeline for releasing footage and audio data.
The definition of public concern is important in understanding the bill. The text states: “A video or audio recording relates to a matter of public concern if it depicts an incident involving a peace officer’s use of force, or is reasonably believed to involve a violation of law or public policy.”
Assembly Bill 748 addresses instances in which body camera footage can be withheld. There are three instances: if it would endanger the successful completion of an investigation, if the public interest in withholding the footage outweighs the interest in releasing it, and if the privacy of the subject(s) in the video is at risk. In such cases, the footage may be held for a maximum of 90 days.
Existing law protects the integrity of the original data. There are several guidelines to do this, which we explore in the episode. These regulations are significant, especially regarding proposals to publish footage. Publication allows anyone to have access to, and to manipulate, the videos. Manipulation compromises the integrity of the original data and is often used to create false narratives with the evidence. This is explored in greater detail in the episode.
Released on June 28, 2017, Baby Driver is a thrilling action movie written and directed by Edgar Wright. It stars Ansel Elgort as Baby, Jamie Foxx as Batts, and Kevin Spacey as Doc. Throughout the movie, Baby attempts to flee his life of crime. In the episode I look at some of the unique character traits incorporated into Baby’s character.
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