Transparency is Bliss

On March 8, 2016, the Washington Legislature passed a bill to keep police body-camera video footage available to the public, which is a good thing considering the current public outcry for law enforcement ‘transparency’. House Bill 2362: (1) sets rules on what type of body-camera video footage is presumed ‘private’; (2) sets up a task force to examine the best practice for the use of body-camera video footage; (3) encourages police agencies to adopt policies related to the use of body-camera video footage; and (4) requires certain video footage to be presumptively private, such as footage of dead bodies or of minors, wherein such footage will only be released if a requester can demonstrate the footage is of ‘legitimate public concern’.

Now that the measure has passed both the Senate and the House, the next step is for Governor Jay Inslee’s to review and approve it. Open governmental transparency is a good thing and undoubtedly the people of Washington State will be better off because of the passing of House Bill 2362. Many criminal cases rely on body-camera video footage in the ultimate decision of the case, whether the result is a conviction, a negotiated settlement, a dismissal, or a not guilty finding.

As all Seattle criminal defense attorneys know, a criminal charge and/or conviction can have a lasting impact on one’s life. It thus should go without saying (but we will say it anyways) if you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge, you should immediately seek the advice of a qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney before resolving their case. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether cited for unlawful use of weapon, theft, a driving offense, prostitution, possession and/or distribution of drugs, assault, property destruction or some other law violation, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.

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