Little Rock Police Department: Suspicious Person Call

Dude is angry. Shortest video description ever.

Instead, I want to share some information with you about access to public records.

This is an email I received earlier this year: “Las Cruces PD has been real busy! Most of the recent uploads are them! Do you know if you can obtain some El Paso PD footage?”

The good news: Yes.

The bad news: Texas is among the more tortuous states for accessing police video.

That said, it’s 100% on the table, and we get Texas records fairly frequently. If you have information about one or more newsworthy, unreported incidents out of El Paso, send the details our way. Please remember: we don’t publish footage that has already been published elsewhere. Also – and this one’s big – we need details. Here’s why.

In 2015 the Texas legislature enacted new rules regulating access to police body-worn camera footage. They bulldozed over transparency.

It was already the case that police departments could withhold records if the associated case did not result in a conviction or deferred adjudication. But the 2015 law added many new obstacles.

Like this gem:

To obtain any body camera footage in Texas you are required to provide, at minimum: (1) the date and time of the recorded incident, (2) the “specific location” where it occurred, and (3) the full name of at least one person who is “known” to be a subject of the recording.

You don’t have all of that information? Denied. You forgot to include some of it in your request? Denied. You saw something go down but don’t know the subject’s name? Denied.

There is something you should understand here: The required information? That’s the kind of information people tend to get *through* public records requests. I know of no other record type that requires a requestor to provide that level of detail just to have a chance at getting records.

And it’s only a chance. Because even if the case is closed, many exemptions can still apply.

Which means time. Because in Texas, exemptions = bureaucracy.

With limited exception, any time a Texas public body wants to withhold material due to an exemption, they have to request an Attorney General ruling on its validity. They have 10 business days to file their request, and another 15 business days to provide the AG the material for review. The AG then has 45 business days, after which you will likely find out that the AG has okayed the exemption. Fun times.

Not done yet.

The 2015 law created new exemptions that only apply to body cam video. For example, if a video is recorded in a private space, or relates to the investigation of a fine-only misdemeanor (like a traffic stop) the requestor must have written permission from the subject of the recording before any footage can be released. Special rules also apply if the footage documents the use of deadly force, or is being used in the investigation of an officer. And, as I mentioned earlier, footage of anything that doesn’t result in prosecution or deferred adjudication is exempt as well.

Know what’s also exempt? Any video an agency wants, as long as they claim that its release will hinder an open investigation or prosecution. Talk about a loophole big enough to drive a truck through.

But what if you get past the hurdles? What then? By law you’re looking at a fee of $10 per video, plus $1 per minute of footage that hasn’t already been released. Then it’s all yours. (Those fees are not unusual. In 2019 we spent more than $25,000 in fees for public records. Not a typo.)

Now you know why you haven’t seen footage of Alex Jones’ DUI arrest.

Monkey wrench: I believe that some states go too far in providing access to police body-worn video. More on that another time.


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Author: rafael.nieves


31 thoughts on “Little Rock Police Department: Suspicious Person Call

  1. My dad's Avalanche does that too. If it's on the freeway for a good while it loses power and we have to turn it off and leave it for a little while. Happened to me once. It's possible for the battery to do that, u can't blame the man. Sure he was mad but he didnt give the police a hard time and he was cordial to them afterwards so all is well.

  2. Tip for Mr Karen: If someone is up to no good, they generally don’t keep showing up REPEATEDLY to the degree that you can say they’re recognizable & you know who he picks up & from which house. 🤦🏼‍♀️Just sayin’ 😂 Holy Crap – get this guy someone with whom to porch sit/gossip! Uch!

  3. I'm a Mechanic and i know some vehicles can shut off while driving on you for multiple reason and after 5 or 10 it'll start fine.

  4. The older man knows A LOT about what is going on with this girl 🤔 You can be concerned about suspicious behavior around your property but it’s another thing to know that many details of when this man is coming and going to her house. Do you sit by the window all day hoping you can call the cops?

  5. Lied about the car broken down all bs story . Unreal racial
    Profiling me man lol. Shit up idiot . Don’t linger around people house . He is on some bs burglar.

  6. This is a real question that I see over and over and over. Why, why, WHY so emotional, excitable, and near or at losing control? Millions and millions of times over. (Even if you are really being wronged…….WHY, WHY, WHY, behave like that? No good can come from it….only bad. Kids see that behavior. )

  7. Blah blah blah some damn stranger comes up to you asking for ELECTRIC tape with that attitude. He doesn't have to give you shit! You may be a crazy EX stalker…

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