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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bill Would Affect Use of FOIA Exemptions for Police Recordings

The Illinois Senate recently introduced a bill that would amend the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Senate Bill 2210 provides that video captured by an in-car camera or police worn body-camera of (1) an officer discharging a firearm or (2) an officer-involved death will not be exempt from a FOIA request unless the public body obtains a court order authorizing use of the exemption. The amendment would require a court to conduct an expedited hearing on the applicability of the exemption.  The bill does not address whether the time-frame for response is "stayed" while the court order request is pending.  Nor does the bill provide any guidance on the process for how a public body initiates the court proceeding to request an order authorizing use of a FOIA exemption.

The introduction of the amendment was in response to the Laquan McDonald shooting. You can read about Senator Van Pelt’s (the sponsor of the bill) position regarding the amendment here.

Post Authored by Douglas Spale & Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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