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AB-459 Public records: body-worn cameras.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/22/2017 09:00 PM
AB459:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 22, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 459


Introduced by Assembly Member Chau

February 13, 2017


An act to add Section 6254.31 6254.4.5 to the Government Code, relating to public records.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 459, as amended, Chau. Public records: body-worn cameras.
Existing law, the California Public Records Act, requires state and local agencies to make their records available for public inspection, unless an exemption from disclosure applies.
This bill would exempt prohibit unredacted video and audio files from a body-worn camera created by a peace officer of a state or local law enforcement agency that depict any victim of rape, incest, sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse during the commission of the crime or the immediate aftermath from disclosure being disclosed pursuant to the act, unless the victim or victims depicted or the victim’s or victims’ parents, guardians, or next of kin provide express written consent.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public records or open meetings and contains findings demonstrating that the enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this purpose.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 6254.31 6254.4.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:
6254.31.

Video

6254.4.5.
 Unredacted video and audio files from a body-worn camera created by a peace officer of a state or local law enforcement agency that depict any victim of rape, incest, sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse during the commission of the crime or the immediate aftermath are confidential and shall not be disclosed to any member of the public pursuant to this chapter without the express written consent of the victim or victims depicted. depicted or the victim’s or victims’ parents, guardians, or next of kin.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 6254.31 6254.4.5 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:
The need to protect the privacy of victims of serious crimes from the public disclosure of images captured through the use of a body-worn camera outweighs the interest in public disclosure of that information.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 6254.31 6254.4.5 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:
Because video and audio files from a body-worn camera used by peace officers may capture sensitive information that could compromise important police work in addition to information that is highly private for victims of certain crimes, requiring local agencies to maintain the confidentiality of certain body-worn camera records, unless disclosure is authorized by the victim, victim or the victim’s parent, guardian, or next of kin, furthers the purpose of Section 3 of Article 1 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.