AB 459 – Limits the Disclosure of Police Body Camera Recordings

Category: Public Education
Date: Dec 4, 2017 04:28 PM

AB 459 provides that the California Public Records Act does not require disclosure of a video or audio recording created during the commission or investigation of rape, incest, sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse that depicts the face, intimate body part, or voice of the victim. The agency in possession of the recording must, however, justify withholding the recording by showing that the interest in withholding the recording outweighs the interest in its disclosure. In balancing these interests, the public agency must consider:

  1. The victim’s constitutional privacy rights and
  2. Whether potential harm to the victim can be mitigated by obscuring or distorting identifying characteristics without impairing the ability to see or hear the events captured on the recording.

AB 459 also requires public agencies to permit the victim or the victim’s authorized representative to obtain a copy of the recording. Disclosure to the victim or representative does not constitute a waiver of exemptions for any other member of the public.

(AB 459 adds Section 6254.4.5 to the Government Code.)

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