The Bad Exemption Factory Just Keeps on Pumping ‘Em Out

And in news of the truly inane…has anyone considered what happens when the death involves, say, a controversial police shooting???

A bill seeking to exempt depictions of deaths from Florida’s public records laws is making its way through the legislature, and freedom-of-information advocates are warning that the repercussions of such a broad measure could be detrimental to the public’s ability to hold law enforcement and government agents accountable.

“It would be harder for the public to know about these kinds of issues, and much harder, if not impossible for any oversight of law enforcement,” says Barbara Petersen of the First Amendment Foundation, a nonprofit based in Tallahassee. “And not just law enforcement, quite frankly, because this is any video, or any recording of either the killing of a person or the events leading up to the killing of a person. So for example, in the Tampa Bay area a couple years ago we had the Carlie Brucia case where the security tapes that were critical in that case would have been exempt from public disclosure under this bill.” #

Eleven-year-old Carlie Brucia was abducted and murdered in 2004, and the security tapes from a car wash near her home captured a man leading the young girl to his car shortly before she was reported missing.  With the help of technology provided by NASA to enhance the images, the FBI was eventually able to locate Brucia’s killer and bring him to justice.

State Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, says her bill stems from the police dashboard video recording of the murder of two Tampa police officers, and was written to protect victims’ family members.

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