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Open Records Victory?

Posted by Alan Woodland | Mar 05, 2014 | 0 Comments

What is there to hide anyway?

Several years ago(2005), the lobby for OHP successfully convinced the legislature to exempt THEIR patrol car videos from being accessed through the Open Records Act...

Every once in awhile, a defense lawyer that had successfully attained a car video by subpoena, would share its contents with the news in relation to their client's case. Almost always in those instances, the trooper involved was abusive, aggressive and found depriving someone of their 4th Amendment protections. Many times I have found fabricated reasons for traffic stops - only from watching videos. One Oklahoma Court opinion refers to "subterfuge", or fabricating reasons to pull a driver over to search the vehicle... Secrecy was needed, Hence the exemption?

Things are changing. March 5 was a victory for open government. House Bill 2676 passed making ALL law enforcement videos subject to Open Records requests. A senate bill that also removes the exemption passed committee in February. There are some hurdles yet. I believe the legislature will do the right thing, let's hope our Governor does as well.

 

About the Author

Alan Woodland

Alan devotes 90% of his practice to DUI Defense in Oklahoma. "I know what to look for and how to defend against it."

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