Require the Release of Body Camera Footage To the Public

As the Mayor has touted that adding 6 new officers and equipping all officers with body cameras is progress towards implementing recommendations from the Mayor's Commission on Racial Justice, citizens who have been calling for greater accountability and transparency are pushing back.  These changes are inadequate without enacting policy that ensures they create positive change. Equipping all officers with body cameras does absolutely no good if only LPD can access the footage.  For this reason we are demanding that City Council enact legislation requiring the release of body camera footage within 3 days of a critical or use of force incident. Despite a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that says that it is illegal for information to be withheld "unless he can articulate actual (nonspeculative) harm,"  open records requests made by citizens have been repeatedly denied. In March an LPD vehicle was weaponized against Liam Long, an autistic Black teenager, during a welfare check.  An LPD officer, in an attempt at intimidation, advised Liam's mother she would not receive any additional body camera footage from the incident that severely injured her son if she filed a formal complaint. A recent Herald Leader article stated that LPD "can't indefinitely postpone access to the video based on a claim that he wants to await the conclusion of the investigation. The video stands alone from the final investigative report as a public record.' This argument was recently upheld in the blockbuster case of the Kentucky Kernel versus University of Kentucky at the Kentucky Supreme Court. The justices unanimously ruled that a public agency cannot treat an investigative file as "one giant record, unable to be separated. Grouping all the documents together as one record to avoid production is patently unacceptable under the ORA." (Herald Leader article)

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