Dashboard camera exemption by jurisdiction

Jurisdiction Dash cam exemption
Alaska "Records compiled for law enforcement purposes” are exempt under Alaska’s Public Records Act. Alaska Stat. § 40.25.120(6) (2014).

  The Alabama Open Records Law, Al. Code Al. Code §36-12-40 et seq., exempts from disclosure records "relating to, or having an impact upon, the security or safety of persons . . . the public disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be detrimental to the public safety or welfare, and records the disclosure of which would otherwise be detrimental to the best interests of the public . . . .”
  The Alabama Code § 12-21-3.1(b) exempts law enforcement investigative reports, recordings, and related material from public records requests.


  Records related to "undisclosed investigations by law enforcement agencies of suspected criminal activity” are exempt from Arkansas’s Freedom of Information Act. Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-105(b)(6).
  Arkansas appears to treat requests for police dashcam videos under the state FOIA (A.C.A. §§ 25-19-101) like requests for other records. In 2007, the state Attorney General’s office issued an opinion in response to an inquiry about whether videotape from a police traffic stop could be withheld as an "employee evaluation or job performance record” or a "personnel record.” The opinion did not take a firm position, but noted that these specific exemptions do not apply categorically to all police videos because "[t]here may be any number of reasons a police department installs video cameras in patrol cars, some of which may not be related to evaluating the performance of employees.”


  Arizona does not have a statutory provision expressly exempting dashboard camera videos from FOIA requests. A.R.S. § 41-151.18 defines public records broadly to include "prints or copies of such items produced or reproduced on film or electronic media.” To prevent disclosure, a party would have to rely on generic exemptions (e.g. where disclosure would invade privacy and outweigh the public’s right to know, as further developed by Arizona case law).

Arizona - Phoenix None.

  Any investigatory, intelligence, or security records and files of any state or local agency for correctional, law enforcement, or licensing purposes can be withheld. Cal. Gov’t Code § 6254(f)(Deering 2015).
  Could not find statute or bill on this- but anecdotally it seems that requests under the California Public Records Act are denied.

California - Los Angeles

  Dashboard camera videos are treated as confidential for FOIA purposes:
  All official files, documents, records, reports, photographs/imaging/recordings and information held by the Department or in the custody or control of an employee of the Department must be regarded as confidential. Employees must not disclose or permit the disclosure or use of such files, documents, reports, records, photographs/imaging/recordings or information except as required in the performance of their official duties. The unauthorized use of information obtained through employment with the Los Angeles Police Department can subject the employee to possible disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution. This includes information obtained from manually stored records, as well as information obtained from automated records.
  Note: Photographs/imaging/recordings include, but are not limited to, imaging such as mug shots, in-car video footage, digital interviews, audio or video recordings, etc.

California - San Diego

  SDPD Procedures notes that body camera digital evidence should be treated the same as other digital evidence and then references a San Diego Police policies and procedures on handling official records request. Such a policy was not located on the internet, but presumably, if the body camera digital evidence is to be treated the same as the other digital evidence, then based on the SDPD’s recent treatment of body camera videos as private, this is likely the same stance taken regarding dashboard camera digital evidence.

California - San Francisco

  Police dashboard camera recording requests are governed by the California Public Records Act, but police can claim an exemption under Government Code 6524(f) if the video is part of a police investigation.


  Criminal justice records may be withheld if disclosure would be contrary to the public interest or is otherwise exempted by law. CRS §§ 24-72-304(1), 305(1), and 305(1.5).


  Connecticut does not expressly exempt dashboard camera videos from FOIA. A dash-camera video would likely fall under the definition of a public record, which is broadly defined to include "any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.” As such, any agency seeking to restrict disclosure would likely have to rely on the generic exemptions, enumerated under Section 1-210, permitting agencies to not disclose certain categories of records.
  Law enforcement records may be withheld if disclosure would reveal information to be used in a related law enforcement action, the identity of an informant, investigative techniques not known to the public, arrest record of a juvenile, or information of a victim of sexual assault. Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 1-210(3).

Delaware It appears that dash camera footage can be released if a police department chooses to. The Dover Police Department released a series of dash cam videos called "Dashcam Confessionals.”

  Could not find clear stance but under Florida’s open records law (s. 119), dashboard videos seem to be public records that can be requested by public.
  Costs are borne by requester.
  Couldn’t find anything that suggested dashboard camera videos are exempt for any reasons.

Florida - Miami None

  Records of pending police investigations are exempt from Georgia’s Open Records Act, and would be subject to further limitations on disclosure in SB 94. See above.