Bill requires police to get judge's OK to withhold video - - Columbia, South Carolina

Bill requires police to get judge's OK to withhold video

Dashcam video (file) (courtesy KCSD) Dashcam video (file) (courtesy KCSD)

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Law enforcement agencies in South Carolina would need a judge's blessing to withhold dashcam video under legislation intended to prevent police from indefinitely blocking the public's ability to scrutinize an officer's action.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin says his bill could inject confidence in a police decision.

Currently, if a public records request is denied, the only recourse for a family or news organization is to sue. Martin says that's too expensive to be a real option for many people.

He says adding a step to current law will put the question before an impartial third party. Law enforcement agencies wanting to deny a Freedom of Information request would need a judge to agree that releasing the video then would be harmful.

A Judiciary panel postponed voting on the bill.

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