BWC exemption by jurisdiction

Jurisdiction BWC exemption
Alaska None.
Alabama None.
Arkansas None

  Before SB 1300 was amended, it contained provisions on the release of body camera recordings. In its original form, the bill stated that recordings made by law enforcement officers would not be public records. Recordable incidents would have only been released to the public by a court order or a subpoena. However, a recordable incident could have been released to the public if the incident involved a law enforcement officer’s use or attempted use of deadly physical force and the law enforcement agency consented to the release. These provisions did not make it into the final version of the bill.

Arizona - Phoenix

  Operations Order 4.49, Body Worn Video Technology – Pilot: The release of video/s requested through a public records request will be handled in accordance with existing policy and public records laws. See Operations Order 4.6, Release of Records, for additional information.
  Operations Order 4.6, Release of Records: Departmental Reports (DRs) and other records or matters will be released upon written request, subject to the guidelines of this order.
  Persons requesting information or records will be referred to Public Records.
  Identifying information of a victim will be redacted from any public record the department is releasing upon a public records request. Identifying information includes the victim’s phone numbers, addresses, work information, and anything else that could identify the victim, such as photographs and/or videos.
  Per Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-4434.C, a victim’s name should be released UNLESS the victim may be re-victimized, is involved in a violent crime (sexual assault, robbery burglary, domestic violence, assault), is a s child, or there are privacy concerns. If there is any doubt about what information should be redacted, contact the Legal Unit.
  Crime scene or death investigations photographs and/or video must be redacted to protect the victim’s identifying information.


  All requests for recordings from a body-worn camera shall be processed in accordance with the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
  AB 1246: a recording made by a body worn camera is confidential and shall not be disclosed, except that the recording shall be disclosed to the person whose image is recorded by the body worn camera.
  Specific body-camera files created by police are exempted from disclosure pursuant to the California Public Records Act, including files that depict (1) any victim of rape, incest, domestic violence, or child abuse, if the footage relates to any of those incidents, (2) any informant of the law enforcement agency or an undercover peace officer, or (3) a private residence in a nonemergency situation when the officer is there without a warrant.

California - Los Angeles

  Appears to follow California’s Public Records Act. Chief Charlie Beck has stated that the department does not intend, in general, to release the recordings unless required by a criminal or civil court proceeding. The LAPD considers the recordings to be evidence, which are investigative records exempt from public release under California’s Public Records Act.

California - San Diego

  SDPD has been treating the videos as evidence and therefore, private. SDPD retains the right to release a video at its discretion, which may only be done with the Chief of Police or his/her designee’s approval. The SDPD Procedure notes that its policy on releasing of videos is meant to "balance a citizen's right to a fair trial, the preservation of evidence, the protection of privacy rights, and police officer accountability.”
  A news article noted that when it requested a body camera recording of a shooting under California Public Records Act, it was denied by SDPD on the grounds that once the recording becomes a part of the investigation, SDPD does not have to release them.
  SDPD Procedure allows officers access to their own recordings and recommends that officers review the digital evidence prior to completing reports when necessary to ensure accuracy.
  SDPD Procedure limits the review of digital evidence to administrative purposes of the following: incident where officer is hurt or killed; use of force by officer that results in injury or death; in-custody death; police pursuit; discharge of officer firearm or Conductive Energy Weapon; officer-involved traffic collision; prior to the release of recordings in response to subpoena or other court order; in preparation for a civil deposition or responding to an interrogatory where the incident arises from the officer’s official duties; when preparing to testify in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding arising from official duties; investigations undertaken by the Department regarding allegations of misconduct. All other request to review purposes beyond the above must be approved by a captain or higher on a case by case basis.

California - San Francisco FOIA-related concerns appear to be governed by the California Public Records Act.
Colorado Clandestine audio recording of a private conversation is prohibited by state wiretapping and eavesdropping statutes with no special exceptions for law enforcement.

  House Bill 7103 states that any recording disallowed under HB 7103 is not a public record under Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act.
  Under Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 7(g) exempts body-worn camera recordings of incidents involving a victim of domestic or sexual abuse or a homicide, suicide, or fatal accident if disclosure could constitute "an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
  Senate Bill No. 1109, which was not passed, would have required disclosure of images and videos recorded by the equipment under FOIA. However, the bill would have allowed an agency to withhold such recordings under an existing FOIA exemption located at Section 2-210(b)(3) of the general statutes of Connecticut. Under this exemption, no disclosure would be allowed for those records not otherwise available to the public, provided such records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of a crime and there would be disclosure of one of the following: 1) an informant’s or witness’s identity that is not otherwise known and the person’s safety would be jeopardized or he or she would be subjected to threats or intimidation; 2) a minor witness’s identity; 3) a signed witness statement; 4) information for a prospective law enforcement action, if prejudicial to the action; 5) investigatory techniques not otherwise known to the general public; 6) juvenile arrest records; 7) the name and address of a victim of certain types of sexual assault, risk of injury to or impairing the morals of a minor, or an attempt to commit one of these crimes; or 8) uncorroborated allegations the law requires be destroyed.
  Senate Bill No. 770, which was also not enacted, would have directed municipal police departments participating in the pilot program to adopt policies regarding the disclosure of videos.


  None. Delaware’s general FOIA laws provide exemptions for:
  (1)_Investigatory files compiled for civil or criminal law-enforcement purposes including pending investigative files, pretrial and presentence investigations and child custody and adoption files where there is no criminal complaint at issue;
  (2)_Criminal files and criminal records, the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy. Any person may, upon proof of identity, obtain a copy of the person's personal criminal record. All other criminal records and files are closed to public scrutiny. Agencies holding such criminal records may delete any information, before release, which would disclose the names of witnesses, intelligence personnel and aids or any other information of a privileged and confidential nature;
  (3)_Intelligence files compiled for law-enforcement purposes, the disclosure of which could constitute an endangerment to the local, state or national welfare and security;
  (4)_Any records specifically exempted from public disclosure by statute or common law;


  "Active criminal intelligence information and active criminal information” are exempt from public records requests under Fla. Stat. § 119.071(2)(c).
  On July 1, 2015, Florida enacted the Public Records Law, which asserts that a police body-worn camera recording is confidential and exempt from public disclosure if it is taken inside a private residence; a health care, mental health, or social services facility; or any place "that a reasonable person would expect to be private.” Fla. Stat. § 119.071(2)(I)2.
  Florida has passed another bill, SB 248, which exempts body camera videos from state open records laws (s. 119.07) when they are taken in private places or involve medical emergencies and deaths, etc. Requests for disclosure can also be declined if the video:
  Is taken within the interior of a private residence;
  Is taken on the property of a facility that offers health care, mental health care, or social services;
  Is taken at the scene of a medical emergency;
  Is taken in a place where a person recorded or depicted in the recording has a reasonable expectation of privacy; or
  Shows a child younger than 18 years of age inside a school, as defined in s. 1003.01, or on school property, as defined in s. 810.095, or shows a child younger than 14 years of age at any location.
  In Sarasota, a request for all police recordings made to date in their pilot body camera program (about 84 hours of video) was met with a demand for $16,000 from the requester in order to pay for review of all the video before it was released. The cost was estimated at about $190/video.

Florida - Miami Directive 16-18 states that release of body worn camera footage shall be governed by state law.

  Under Ga. Code Ann. §§ 50-18-70 to 77, records may be withheld if disclosure would interfere with ongoing law enforcement investigations or proceedings, deprive the person of the right to a fair trial, reveal the identity of a confidential informant, reveal investigative techniques or procedures, or endanger anyone’s safety.
  SB 94 exempts police videos from wiretapping and privacy laws and excludes body camera recordings from public records when they are taken where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy and no pending criminal investigation. These exceptions can be overcome by the subject of the video, the parent of a minor in the video, and persons party to the criminal or civil action relevant to the video.
  Records of pending police investigations are exempt from Georgia’s Open Records Act. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(a)(4).
  SB 94 would specifically exempt from disclosure audio and video recordings used by law enforcement officers in a place with a reasonable expectation of privacy, except for certain enumerated cases, such as if a representative of a deceased’s estate seeks a recording of a decedent; a parent or legal guardian of a minor who was recorded; an accused person or a party in a civil action, if the recording is relevant to the proceeding; and an attorney for any of these. The person seeking disclosure would have to submit a sworn affidavit attesting to the facts necessary to establish eligibility for disclosure.
  HB 32 would treat data recorded by body cameras as "records of law enforcement” under Georgia’s public disclosure laws—the result being that body camera data would be exempted from disclosure if it is part of a pending police investigation. See O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(a)(4).