Florida Senate - 2015 CS for CS for CS for SB 248 By the Committees on Rules; Governmental Oversight and Accountability; and Criminal Justice; and Senators Smith and Thompson 595-03386-15 2015248c3 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records; amending s. 3 119.071, F.S.; defining the terms “body camera,” “law 4 enforcement officer,” and “personal representative”; 5 providing that a body camera recording is confidential 6 and exempt from public records requirements under 7 certain circumstances; providing exceptions; requiring 8 a law enforcement agency to retain body camera 9 recordings for at least a specified period; providing 10 for retroactive application; providing for future 11 legislative review and repeal of the exemption; 12 providing a statement of public necessity; providing 13 an effective date. 14 15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 16 17 Section 1. Paragraph (l) is added to subsection (2) of 18 section 119.071, Florida Statutes, to read: 19 119.071 General exemptions from inspection or copying of 20 public records.— 21 (2) AGENCY INVESTIGATIONS.— 22 (l)1. As used in this paragraph, the term: 23 a. “Body camera” means a portable electronic recording 24 device that is worn on a law enforcement officer’s body and that 25 records audio and video data in the course of the officer 26 performing his or her official duties and responsibilities. 27 b. “Law enforcement officer” has the same meaning as 28 provided in s. 943.10. 29 c. “Personal representative” means a parent , a court 30 appointed guardian, an attorney, or an agent of, or a person 31 holding a power of attorney for, a person recorded by a body 32 camera. If a person depicted in the recording is deceased, the 33 term also means the personal representative of the estate of the 34 deceased person; the deceased person’s surviving spouse, parent, 35 or adult child; the deceased person’s attorney or agent; or the 36 parent or guardian of a surviving minor child of the deceased. 37 An agent must possess written authorization of the recorded 38 person to act on his or her behalf. 39 2. A body camera recording, or a portion thereof, is 40 confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I 41 of the State Constitution if the recording: 42 a. Is taken within the interior of a private residence; 43 b. Is taken within the interior of a facility that offers 44 health care, mental health care, or social services; 45 c. Is taken at the scene of a medical emergency involving a 46 death or involving an injury that requires transport to a 47 medical facility; or 48 d. Is taken in a place that a reasonable person would 49 expect to be private. 50 3. Notwithstanding subparagraph 2., a body camera recording 51 may be disclosed by a law enforcement agency: 52 a. In furtherance of its official duties and 53 responsibilities; or 54 b. To another governmental agency in the furtherance of its 55 official duties and responsibilities. 56 4. A body camera recording, or a portion thereof, shall be 57 disclosed by a law enforcement agency: 58 a. To a person recorded by a body camera; however, a law 59 enforcement agency may disclose only those portions that are 60 relevant to the person’s presence in the recording; 61 b. To the personal representative of a person recorded by a 62 body camera; however, a law enforcement agency may disclose only 63 those portions that are relevant to the represented person’s 64 presence in the recording; 65 c. To a person not depicted in a body camera recording if 66 the recording depicts a place in which the person lawfully 67 resided, dwelled, or lodged at the time of the recording; 68 however, a law enforcement agency may disclose only those 69 portions that record the interior of such a place. 70 d. Pursuant to a court order. 71 (I) In addition to any other grounds the court may consider 72 in determining whether to order that a body camera recording be 73 disclosed, the court shall consider whether: 74 (A) Disclosure is necessary to advance a compelling 75 interest; 76 (B) The recording contains information that is otherwise 77 exempt or confidential and exempt under the law; 78 (C) The person requesting disclosure is seeking to obtain 79 evidence to determine legal issues in a case in which the person 80 is a party; 81 (D) Disclosure would reveal information regarding a person 82 that is of a highly sensitive personal nature; 83 (E) Disclosure may harm the reputation or jeopardize the 84 safety of a person depicted in the recording; 85 (F) Confidentiality is necessary to prevent a serious and 86 imminent threat to the fair, impartial, and orderly 87 administration of justice; 88 (G) The recording could be redacted to protect privacy 89 interests; and 90 (H) There is good cause to disclose all or portions of a 91 recording. 92 (II) In any proceeding regarding the disclosure of a body 93 camera recording, the law enforcement agency that made the 94 recording shall be given reasonable notice of hearings and shall 95 be given an opportunity to participate. 96 5. A law enforcement agency must retain a body camera 97 recording for at least 90 days. 98 6. The exemption provided in subparagraph 2. applies 99 retroactively. 100 7. This exemption does not supersede any other public 101 records exemption that existed before or is created after the 102 effective date of this exemption. Those portions of a recording 103 which are protected from disclosure by another public records 104 exemption shall continue to be exempt or confidential and 105 exempt. 106 8. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset 107 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed 108 on October 2, 2020, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 109 through reenactment by the Legislature. 110 Section 2. (1) The Legislature finds that it is a public 111 necessity that the following types of body camera recordings are 112 made confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida 113 Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of the State Constitution: 114 recordings taken within the interior of a private residence; 115 recordings taken within the interior of a facility that offers 116 health care, mental health care, or social services; recordings 117 taken at the scene of a medical emergency involving a death or 118 involving an injury that requires transport to a medical 119 facility; and recordings taken in a place that a reasonable 120 person would expect to be private. 121 (2) The Legislature recognizes the increased prevalence of 122 body cameras being used by law enforcement officers. Body 123 cameras preserve information in an objective manner that 124 enhances the ability of both law enforcement officers and the 125 public to review the circumstances surrounding an event in which 126 law enforcement intervention occurs. The availability of readily 127 observable and candid recordings increases transparency and 128 public confidence in law enforcement officers. 129 (3) However, the Legislature also finds that, in certain 130 instances, audio and video recorded by body cameras is 131 significantly more likely to capture highly sensitive personal 132 information than other types of law enforcement recordings or 133 documents. The Legislature finds that public disclosure of these 134 recordings could have an undesirable chilling effect. People who 135 know they are being recorded by a body camera may be unwilling 136 to cooperate fully with law enforcement officers if they know 137 that a body camera recording can be made publicly available to 138 anyone else. People may also be less likely to call a law 139 enforcement agency for services if their sensitive personal 140 information or the circumstances that necessitate a law 141 enforcement agency’s involvement are subject to public 142 dissemination as a body camera recording. The Legislature also 143 finds that body camera recordings could be used for criminal 144 purposes if they were available upon request. This exemption 145 from public records requirements allows law enforcement officers 146 to more effectively and efficiently administer their duties, 147 which would otherwise be significantly impaired. The Legislature 148 finds that these concerns regarding the impact of the public 149 records requirements for body camera recordings not only 150 necessitate the exemption of the recordings from public records 151 requirements, but also outweigh any public benefit that may be 152 derived from their disclosure. 153 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.