Joint statement with ACLU of RI on LEOBOR Amendment

ACLU of Rhode Island and Common Cause Rhode Island issue the following statement about passage of today’s amendment to the LEOBOR reform bill (H 7263 Sub A/S 2096 Sub A) by the Rhode Island Senate:

We appreciate the Senate’s action in amending the bill to eliminate the House version’s ban on public access to body camera footage involving so-called minor incidents of police misconduct. At the same time, by also tying public access to Attorney General regulations, we believe this amendment could allow future restrictions on access to body camera footage. For example, the regulations could be revised to prohibit access in circumstances where the open records law allows, but does not require, release. Our organizations will remain vigilant as LEOBOR reform is implemented, but we are hopeful that departments, and the Attorney General, will operate in as transparent a manner as possible when it comes to public access to police body camera footage.