Agency Rejects Bid to Wall Off Police Body Camera Footage
ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota police departments have lost their bid to classify most body-camera footage as private.
The commissioner for the Department of Administration rejected a request to temporarily wall off the data until state lawmakers pass body-camera regulations. A coalition of police departments had sought the data lockdown to avoid having to release footage they say could infringe on privacy of people officers interact with.
In his decision Monday, Commissioner Matt Massman says it's outside his purview to classify the information as private. He says current laws presume the footage is public in the same way as written arrest data and police reports.
Massman urges the police chiefs to approach the Legislature about clarifying data laws.
Transparency watchdogs say making footage private would lessen the accountability aspect of body cameras.