Several groups that support First Amendment issues are fighting a bill that would keep some police body camera video from being released to the public, according to a report in the Tallahassee Democrat.
Sen. Christopher Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, proposed the bill — SB 248 — and supports the use of the devices by law enforcement, but he wants to limit the release of video from certain scenes.
“The concern you have with this is keeping the privacy of individuals,” he said. “And what this does, it gives a public-records exemption for video tape taken where you expect privacy. So if an officer comes into your home, comes into your hotel room, your hospital room — places where you expect privacy — that tape is not public record.”
But his bill would exempt video that is recorded within a private residence, inside a health-care facility or any other place that a reasonable person would expect to be private.
The proposed bill also would ban the release of video from an emergency scene, which opponents say would cover any video from cases of excessive force by police.
Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee, said the bill goes too far and more sensible policies are needed governing the use of body cameras.
In addition to her group, others fighting the bill include the ACLU of Florida, the NAACP and Equality Florida.
Original article here.