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ACLU Sues California Police Over 'Exorbitant' Body Cam Footage Charge

 

Hayward, California police department charged National Lawyers Guild nearly $3,000 to view crowd control footage from Black Lives Matter protest

The ACLU is filing suit over the Hayward Police Department for what is called 'exorbitant' charges to see body cam footage from a 2014 Black Lives Matter protest. (Photo: AP)

 

The ACLU on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the city of Hayward, California and its police force after the department charged the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) nearly $3,000 to view body camera footage from a recent Black Lives Matter demonstration against police brutality.

 

Several protesters were injured during a December rally in Berkeley against recent grand jury decisions not to indict officers involved in the high-profile deaths of two black men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

 

According to the lawsuit (pdf), the Hayward Police Department charged the NLG, a public interest law group, $2,938 to access one round of footage from the protests—a move which the ACLU said undermines government transparency and accountability and threatens efforts to mend public trust in police officers.

 

The civil liberties group had requested the footage under California's Public Records Act (PRA), which guarantees that "access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state."

 

"The Public Records Act and police body cameras have one thing in common: both are intended to promote government transparency and accountability," said Alan Schlosser, senior counsel with ACLU-Northern California. "This common purpose will be thwarted if Hayward is allowed to impose exorbitant costs for the public disclosure of police body camera footage."

 

"Such a hefty price tag will put these public records beyond the reach of most Californians, including journalists investigating possible instances of excessive force by police," Schlosser said.

 

The NLG was told that the charge included $1 for a DVD of the footage and the rest for "staff time necessary to accommodate the PRA request."

 

Use of body cameras by law enforcement officers has been suggested as a measure to address police violence. But, as Common Dreams has previously reported, there are numerous risks involved with relying on body cameras as principal safeguards against brutality—including giving officers power over when and how to release footage.

 

Rachel Lederman, NLG chapter president, said on Tuesday that the "positive impact of body cameras on public trust and truth finding is directly undermined when the public cannot get access to the videos, whether because the police unlawfully refuse to release them entirely, or only release the footage they want the public to see, or try to charge excessive costs for footage as Hayward is doing."

 

Frank Holland, a Hayward spokesperson, told the Contra Costa Times that the city was "committed to full compliance with the Public Records Act."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

Original Post

Pretty soon white folks are going to charge us for each fart we eject. All they care about is money. Will probably charge us $20.00 per fart or flatulence ejections to be correct about the terminology.

 

$20.00 for each burst of air ejected from the exit they love so much, will stick their toes in it if provoked. Wore their fingers out and that's not all. African Fart taxes coming!!!!! Going to make us all wear special fart bags with counters on them; we'll have to walk them to our nearest Police Department so they can handle the situation like they handle all situations. Hopefully, we'll walk out alive, but don't count on it; murdered for owing back taxes will be the headline.

Last edited by Norland

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