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(Indianapolis, Ind.) An Indiana legislator has introduced a bill that would give police departments the option of withholding police body and dash-cam video in Indiana. Had this bill been law in Illinois, the video of Chicago police shooting LaQuan McDonald 16 times would not have been released.

The proposed legislation known as House Bill 1019 “restricts public records requests for law enforcement recordings” and requires a court order to release recorded police body camera video. The bill introduced by Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) has already passed through a House committee with a unanimously favorable vote. It now moves to the House floor for consideration from all representatives.

Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City)Dave Crooks, chairman of the Board of the Indiana Broadcasters Association (IBA), sent a press release alerting Indiana media outlets to the bill that he says is ignoring the public’s right to know.

“This outrageous proposal takes government secrecy to a new level, keeping public records completely under wrap,” said Crooks. Crooks served in the Indiana Legislature from 1996 to 2008.  “As drafted, the 22-page bill would allow government to refuse to share public video records and require the public to file a lawsuit against an agency, prove a need for disclosure of the video, and have those asking for the video to bear the legal costs of such a request – unless you’re actually in the video,” said Crooks.

Under Indiana’s current law police video is public record and can be obtained by request. If passed into law, HB 1019 would have prevented the release of police video capturing the deaths of LaQuan McDonald in Chicago, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Sam DuBose in Cincinnati, and the arrest of Sandra Bland in Texas.

We have reached to Rep. Mahan for comment.

 

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