Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2611 The California Public Records Act: visual or audio recording of peace officer’s death: conditional exemption from disclosure.(2015-2016)



SECTION 1.

 Section 6254.36 is added to the Government Code, to read:

6254.36.
 A public agency shall not disclose a visual or audio recording of the death of a peace officer killed in the line of duty, unless the disclosure is authorized by the peace officer’s immediate family. If a peace officer’s immediate family authorizes the disclosure of a visual or audio recording of the death of the peace officer killed in the line of duty, the public agency shall disclose the visual or audio recording.
SEC. 2.
 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 6254.36 to the Government Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
Prohibiting the disclosure of a visual or audio recording of the death of a peace officer killed in the line of duty, without the consent of the peace officer’s immediate family, ensures the privacy of persons who serve in law enforcement and their immediate families, protects those families from additional emotional trauma from public displays of those images, and further protects the public from the graphic sounds and morbid images that would be contained in a visual or audio recording of the death of a peace officer in the line of duty. By providing for a limited, conditional disclosure of these recordings, when other public records relating to the death may be available for public inspection, this act properly balances the public’s right to access public records with proper privacy interests.
SEC. 3.
 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 6254.36 to the Government Code, furthers, within the meaning of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the purposes of that constitutional section as it relates to the right of public access to the meetings of local public bodies or the writings of local public officials and local agencies. Pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the Legislature makes the following findings:
This act ensures that a local government peace officer is protected from public disclosure of a visual or audio recording of his or her death in the line of duty without authorization by the local peace officer’s immediate family. Moreover, the limited, conditional disclosure of local agency public records properly balances the right of privacy of a local government peace officer and his or her immediate family with the ability of the public to access other information regarding the local peace officer’s death, and therefore furthers the purposes of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution.
SEC. 4.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district under this act would result from a legislative mandate that is within the scope of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution.