House Bill 425 establishes public record law for police worn body camera videos, as well as dashboard camera videos. The bill, co-sponsored by Representative Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Representative Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus), was signed into law by Governor John Kasich. The Ohio Senate passed it unanimously last month, and the Ohio House of Representatives concurred to the Senate amendments unanimously.
To strike a balance between transparency and privacy, the bill says that a body camera video is a public record, unless it is a confidential investigatory record, a video within a private home, a video within a private business, or a video of a sex crime victim.
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther offered his support of the new legislation. “The City of Columbus is home to the largest municipal police force in the state of Ohio, and one of the largest in the nation. Just last month our police body cameras resulted in the creation of over 60,000 videos. House Bill 425 is a much needed step to balance the issues of transparency and privacy. This bipartisan approach was crafted with input from a broad range of interests, including faith leaders, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Columbus City Attorney’s Office, police officers, technology experts, criminal defense attorneys, the Ohio Newspaper Association, law professors, the American Civil Liberties Union, and County Prosecutor’s Offices.”