HARRISBURG — Legislation approved by the Pennsylvania state Senate would let police departments refuse public requests for copies of audio or video recordings by officers, unless a court orders its release.
The bill was approved 45-5 on Wednesday without debate. It goes to the House of Representatives with just a few scheduled voting days left in the legislative session. The bill’s wording was made public a day ago and covers recordings from body cameras and dashboard cameras.
It is supported by law enforcement organizations, but opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The sponsor, Sen. Stewart Greenleaf of Montgomery County, says it’ll encourage more police agencies to outfit officers with cameras. But the ACLU says it’ll be nearly impossible to obtain video that’s in the public interest, even if the requester is in the video.