The Swami testifies in D.C.

One of the most hotly debated topics at the state and local levels around the country is that of police body cameras. Should they be used? If so, when should they be turned on and when should recording not occur due to privacy and other concerns? Since recordings made with police body cameras are public records, should they be accessible through state and local freedom of information or open records laws? What about the costs associated with collecting, maintaining, reviewing, redacting and releasing those recordings?

These and other questions are being thrashed out in more than 30 state legislatures and virtually every big city in the country, including the District of Columbia. In addition to moonlighting as the “Swami”, our own Kevin M. Goldberg is the President of the DC Open Government Coalition, a non-profit organization which focuses on improving both public access to government information and the transparency of government operations in D.C. Kevin testified in that capacity on the topic of police body cameras at a public roundtable convened by the D.C. Council’s Committee on the Judiciary on May 7, 2015.

We expect that many, if not most, of our readers are interested in the body camera issue, so we thought we should make Kevin’s written remarks available. You can find them here. There’s also a link to an on-demand stream of the video of the May 7 roundtable here, but head’s up – we couldn’t get it to work. (Because we couldn’t view the official video, we couldn’t get a screen grab of Kevin in action, so for our graphic, above, we’re relying on a shot of Kevin on the JumboTron taken during his appearance.)