05/31/2011

Ohio bill proposes block on media access to dash cam video

Facebook message inspires bill that could block release of a dash-cam video depicting a police officer's death

By Phil Trexler
Akron Beacon Journal

What started as a snarky message left on a state senator's Facebook page is about to become a bill that could block release of a dash-cam video depicting a police officer's death.

The message was sent by Tim Sayre, an aspiring police officer and Ellet resident. It came in the aftermath of Senate Bill 5 and was sent to State Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Akron.

''Instead of trying to rip apart Law Enforcement Departments [sic] across Ohio with SB 5, how about you guys do something constructive to help the Officers,'' Sayre wrote on LaRose's Facebook page in March.

'' . . . like pass a bill that would make it illegal to release dash cam video of an officer that was killed in the line of duty so that the news stations and newspapers don't threaten legal action on a department if they don't release the dash cam video to the media because it is 'public record.' ''

LaRose responded that same day, saying, ''I couldn't agree more.''

But not everyone favors the proposed change.

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