SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski issued an executive order regarding the release of police body camera footage in officer-involved confrontations.
The policy comes after stakeholders, including Salt Lake County District Attorney and ACLU of Utah, were able to weigh in a draft policy released in January.
The new policy states that 10 business days after an “officer-involved critical incident” (such as a shooting), the body camera recording will be classified as a public record barring any “unusual or unforeseen circumstances.” Once the recording has been classified as a public record it will be released by a Government Records Access Management Act (GRAMA) request.
The recordings may be subject to redaction or segregation of any private, controlled, or protected images or sounds contained on the recordings. These may include images or sounds which identify potential witnesses or minors.
The Mayor’s Office said the policy is designed to make it clear to the public of when and how Salt Lake City will release information in these types of situations.
Balances transparency with need for due process—with City leaning toward more transparency— Mayor J. Biskupski (@slcmayor) October 17, 2017
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill joined Mayor Biskupski in announcing the new policy, indicating his office could work within the parameters set by the new policy.
“The SLCO DA’s office is pleased that Mayor Biskupski worked with us to craft a policy that balances the need for transparency and need to protect the integrity of critical investigations that are the concerns of our community,” said Gill. “
“This policy provides time for investigators to protect sensitive evidence, through a court order if necessary, while respecting the intent and spirit of the State’s GRAMA statue,” said Biskupski.
The new policy goes into effect immediately.