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Pennsylvania court ruling on police videos to be short-lived

June 21, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A lawmaker says legislation expected to reach Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk would nullify the effect of a day-old court ruling providing more public access to video from police dashboard cameras.

Montgomery County Sen. Stewart Greenleaf said Wednesday he expects a final vote on his bill next week. It passed the House and Senate, with minor differences.

The bill would exempt from Pennsylvania’s public records law recordings from police body cameras and dashboard cameras, and give police departments discretion to refuse public requests to see them.

Wolf supports it.

Tuesday’s state Supreme Court ruling made police dashboard videos a public record, unless the police agency can prove it contains criminal investigative material.

Before the ruling, police agencies in Pennsylvania routinely deemed the recordings to be exempt from the public records law.

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