The Legal Intelligencer: Pennsylvania Body Cams: Strong in Theory, Weak in Practice
In an article published in The Legal Intelligencer on October 20, 2021, transparency law attorney Joy Ramsingh discusses the importance of body-cam and dash-cam footage to transparent policing as well as the inadequacy of states’ attempt to provide footage through legislation. Because Pennsylvania law allows the police to withhold footage when the footage contains potential evidence in a criminal matter, or information pertaining to an investigation, denials are frequent. Almost every interaction undertaken by law enforcement can fit under that broad description. Joy also offers her take on how Pennsylvania could strengthen the law.
Joy is an attorney in Obermayer’s Transparency Department. She represents media companies, contractors, developers, independent journalists, corporations, public and private partnership participants, and citizens, helping them either access public information that is held by the government or, helping them safeguard trade secret, confidential proprietary information from public disclosure. This looks like providing a hedge fund with information about a regulated product on an expedited timeline, or training corporate in-house counsel on how to protect their trade secret information from FOIA and other public records laws. It can also look like helping investigative reporters obtain the information they need to write about government affairs or helping a private bidder on a government contract obtain commercially valuable information.