Police dash-cam videos often make headlines when they capture extreme or controversial situations, including high speed pursuits, police shoot-outs, and crashes. The footage these videos capture, however, is not for entertainment. According to the 12th District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, police dash-cams are not even public records.
In a unanimous ruling, the court stated that dash-cam videos of officers, deputies, and troopers chasing or arresting criminal suspects are confidential law-enforcement records used for investigative purposes. The court also found that the videos are protected from release under Ohio's public record laws.
The ruling came in a case brought by a Cincinnati man who argued that he had been unlawfully denied dash-cam video footage of a drunk driving arrest. The state trooper stated that the video was protected from release, as it was being used as part of a criminal investigation. The court agreed.
In many cases across the country, media and the public are able to obtain dash-cam videos without many legal barriers. This recent decision will only apply to courts within the district, but may set a precedent for denying the release of dash-cam videos in other cases.
If you have questions about your rights during an investigation or arrest, the Columbus criminal defense attorneys at The Koffel Law Firm can help. To discuss your case with a member of our legal team, call 614-675-4845.