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Ohio law restricting access to some police body camera videos now in effect

Posted at 2:13 PM, Apr 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-08 14:35:16-04

A law defining police body camera and dash camera footage as public record and limiting when it can be released went into effect Monday.

HB 425, sponsored by Republican Rep. Niraj Antani of Miamisburg, originally passed the Ohio General Assembly in 2018, and Governor Kasich signed the bill into law in January.

The law states that all police body-worn cameras and dash cameras now fall under public record laws.

“Today is huge victory for transparency in police and community relations, and for privacy rights for Ohioans," said Rep. Antani in a press release. "The citizens and media of Ohio will now have clear access to police worn body camera videos, except when personal privacy is inhibited.”

This means any citizen in Ohio may request the camera footage of almost any incident. As with all public records, however, the request can be denied if it is a confidential investigatory record, a video within a private home, a video within a private business, or a video of a sex crime victim.