HOUSE BILL 1991
State of Washington
2022 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Taylor, Hansen, Fitzgibbon, Gregerson, J. Johnson, Senn, and Bateman
Read first time 01/14/22.Referred to Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary.
AN ACT Relating to body worn cameras; and amending RCW 42.56.240
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
and 2019 c 300 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
The following investigative, law enforcement, and crime victim information is exempt from public inspection and copying under this chapter:
(1) Specific intelligence information and specific investigative records compiled by investigative, law enforcement, and penology agencies, and state agencies vested with the responsibility to discipline members of any profession, the nondisclosure of which is essential to effective law enforcement or for the protection of any person's right to privacy;
(2) Information revealing the identity of persons who are witnesses to or victims of crime or who file complaints with investigative, law enforcement, or penology agencies, other than the commission, if disclosure would endanger any person's life, physical safety, or property. If at the time a complaint is filed the complainant, victim, or witness indicates a desire for disclosure or nondisclosure, such desire shall govern. However, all complaints filed with the commission about any elected official or candidate for public office must be made in writing and signed by the complainant under oath;
(3) Any records of investigative reports prepared by any state, county, municipal, or other law enforcement agency pertaining to sex offenses contained in chapter 9A.44
RCW or sexually violent offenses as defined in RCW 71.09.020
, which have been transferred to the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs for permanent electronic retention and retrieval pursuant to RCW 40.14.070
(4) License applications under RCW 9.41.070
; copies of license applications or information on the applications may be released to law enforcement or corrections agencies;
(5) Information revealing the specific details that describe an alleged or proven child victim of sexual assault under age eighteen, or the identity or contact information of an alleged or proven child victim of sexual assault who is under age eighteen. Identifying information includes the child victim's name, addresses, location, photograph, and in cases in which the child victim is a relative, stepchild, or stepsibling of the alleged perpetrator, identification of the relationship between the child and the alleged perpetrator. Contact information includes phone numbers, email addresses, social media profiles, and user names and passwords;
(6) Information contained in a local or regionally maintained gang database as well as the statewide gang database referenced in RCW 43.43.762
(7) Data from the electronic sales tracking system established in RCW 69.43.165
(8) Information submitted to the statewide unified sex offender notification and registration program under RCW 36.28A.040
(6) by a person for the purpose of receiving notification regarding a registered sex offender, including the person's name, residential address, and email address;
(9) Personally identifying information collected by law enforcement agencies pursuant to local security alarm system programs and vacation crime watch programs. Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted so as to prohibit the legal owner of a residence or business from accessing information regarding his or her residence or business;
(10) The felony firearm offense conviction database of felony firearm offenders established in RCW 43.43.822
(11) The identity of a state employee or officer who has in good faith filed a complaint with an ethics board, as provided in RCW 42.52.410
, or who has in good faith reported improper governmental action, as defined in RCW 42.40.020
, to the auditor or other public official, as defined in RCW 42.40.020
(12) The following security threat group information collected and maintained by the department of corrections pursuant to RCW 72.09.745
: (a) Information that could lead to the identification of a person's security threat group status, affiliation, or activities; (b) information that reveals specific security threats associated with the operation and activities of security threat groups; and (c) information that identifies the number of security threat group members, affiliates, or associates;
(13) The global positioning system data that would indicate the location of the residence of an employee or worker of a criminal justice agency as defined in RCW 10.97.030
(14) Body worn camera recordings to the extent nondisclosure is essential for the protection of any person's right to privacy as described in RCW 42.56.050
, including, but not limited to, the circumstances enumerated in (a) of this subsection. A law enforcement or corrections agency shall not disclose a body worn camera recording to the extent the recording is exempt under this subsection.
(a) Disclosure of a body worn camera recording is presumed to be highly offensive to a reasonable person under RCW 42.56.050
to the extent it depicts:
(i)(A) Any areas of a medical facility, counseling, or therapeutic program office where:
(I) A patient is registered to receive treatment, receiving treatment, waiting for treatment, or being transported in the course of treatment; or
(II) Health care information is shared with patients, their families, or among the care team; or
(B) Information that meets the definition of protected health information for purposes of the health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996 or health care information for purposes of chapter 70.02
(ii) The interior of a place of residence where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy;
(iii) An intimate image;
(iv) A minor;
(v) The body of a deceased person;
(vi) The identity of or communications from a victim or witness of an incident involving domestic violence as defined in RCW 10.99.020
or sexual assault as defined in RCW 70.125.030
, or disclosure of intimate images as defined in RCW 9A.86.010
. If at the time of recording the victim or witness indicates a desire for disclosure or nondisclosure of the recorded identity or communications, such desire shall govern; or
(vii) The identifiable location information of a community-based domestic violence program as defined in RCW 70.123.020
, or emergency shelter as defined in RCW 70.123.020
(b) The presumptions set out in (a) of this subsection may be rebutted by specific evidence in individual cases.
(c) In a court action seeking the right to inspect or copy a body worn camera recording, a person who prevails against a law enforcement or corrections agency that withholds or discloses all or part of a body worn camera recording pursuant to (a) of this subsection is not entitled to fees, costs, or awards pursuant to RCW 42.56.550
unless it is shown that the law enforcement or corrections agency acted in bad faith or with gross negligence.
(d) A request for body worn camera recordings must:
(i) Specifically identify a name of a person or persons involved in the incident;
(ii) Provide the incident or case number;
(iii) Provide the date, time, and location of the incident or incidents; or
(iv) Identify a law enforcement or corrections officer involved in the incident or incidents.
(e)(i) A person directly involved in an incident recorded by the requested body worn camera recording, an attorney representing a person directly involved in an incident recorded by the requested body worn camera recording, a person or his or her attorney who requests a body worn camera recording relevant to a criminal case involving that person, or the executive director from either the Washington state commission on African American affairs, Asian Pacific American affairs, or Hispanic affairs, has the right to obtain the body worn camera recording, subject to any exemption under this chapter or any applicable law. In addition, an attorney who represents a person regarding a potential or existing civil cause of action involving the denial of civil rights under the federal or state Constitution, or a violation of a United States department of justice settlement agreement, has the right to obtain the body worn camera recording if relevant to the cause of action, subject to any exemption under this chapter or any applicable law. The attorney must explain the relevancy of the requested body worn camera recording to the cause of action and specify that he or she is seeking relief from redaction costs under this subsection (14)(e).
(ii) A law enforcement or corrections agency responding to requests under this subsection (14)(e) may not require the requesting individual to pay costs of any redacting, altering, distorting, pixelating, suppressing, or otherwise obscuring any portion of a body worn camera recording, except that an agency may charge the requesting individual for such costs if the requesting individual is entitled to receive an unredacted copy under (f) of this subsection.
(iii) A law enforcement or corrections agency may require any person requesting a body worn camera recording pursuant to this subsection (14)(e) to identify himself or herself to ensure he or she is a person entitled to obtain the body worn camera recording under this subsection (14)(e).
(f)(i) Notwithstanding (a) and (e) of this subsection, an agency may provide an unredacted copy of body worn camera recordings to a defendant's attorney in a criminal matter without the disclosure being considered highly offensive, if the defendant's attorney would otherwise be entitled to receive an unredacted copy in the course of discovery in a criminal matter. The attorney receiving the unredacted copy shall sign a written agreement that the attorney will maintain exclusive custody of the unredacted copy, use the unredacted copy only for the purposes of conducting the defendant's side of the criminal case as if it had been furnished in discovery, and treat the unredacted copy as confidential as a matter of law. A defense attorney who receives an unredacted copy of body worn camera recordings under this subsection may provide a copy of the body worn camera recordings to the defendant after making redactions consistent with the requirements of this chapter.
(ii) Unredacted body worn camera recordings provided under a written agreement under (f)(i) of this subsection shall not be considered published or otherwise exposed to the public eye. Violation of the agreement that results in redisclosure of unredacted body worn camera recordings is presumed to be highly offensive to the extent it depicts elements outlined in (a) of this subsection or is otherwise considered highly offensive under law. In any private cause of action resulting from improper redisclosure of the recordings, the attorney may not use the receipt of the recording under this subsection as a defense. A violation of the written agreement may also result in sanctions under the civil or criminal court rules.
(g)(i) A law enforcement or corrections agency responding to a request to disclose body worn camera recordings may require any requester not listed in (e) of this subsection to pay the reasonable costs of redacting, altering, distorting, pixelating, suppressing, or otherwise obscuring any portion of the body worn camera recording prior to disclosure only to the extent necessary to comply with the exemptions in this chapter or any applicable law.
(ii) An agency that charges redaction costs under this subsection (14)(((f)))(g) must use redaction technology that provides the least costly commercially available method of redacting body worn camera recordings, to the extent possible and reasonable.
(iii) In any case where an agency charges a requestor for the costs of redacting a body worn camera recording under this subsection (14)(((f)))(g), the time spent on redaction of the recording shall not count towards the agency's allocation of, or limitation on, time or costs spent responding to public records requests under this chapter, as established pursuant to local ordinance, policy, procedure, or state law.
(((g)))(h) For purposes of this subsection (14):
(i) "Body worn camera recording" means a video and/or sound recording that is made by a body worn camera attached to the uniform or eyewear of a law enforcement or corrections officer while in the course of his or her official duties; and
(ii) "Intimate image" means an individual or individuals engaged in sexual activity, including sexual intercourse as defined in RCW 9A.44.010
and masturbation, or an individual's intimate body parts, whether nude or visible through less than opaque clothing, including the genitals, pubic area, anus, or postpubescent female nipple.
(((h)))(i) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to restrict access to body worn camera recordings as otherwise permitted by law for official or recognized civilian and accountability bodies or pursuant to any court order.
(((i)))(j) Nothing in this section is intended to modify the obligations of prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), Kyles v. Whitley, 541 U.S. 419, 115 S. Ct. 1555, 131 L. Ed.2d 490 (1995), and the relevant Washington court criminal rules and statutes.
(((j)))(k) A law enforcement or corrections agency must retain body worn camera recordings for at least sixty days and thereafter may destroy the records in accordance with the applicable records retention schedule;
(15) Any records and information contained within the statewide sexual assault kit tracking system established in RCW 43.43.545
(16)(a) Survivor communications with, and survivor records maintained by, campus-affiliated advocates.
(b) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to restrict access to records maintained by a campus-affiliated advocate in the event that:
(i) The survivor consents to inspection or copying;
(ii) There is a clear, imminent risk of serious physical injury or death of the survivor or another person;
(iii) Inspection or copying is required by federal law; or
(iv) A court of competent jurisdiction mandates that the record be available for inspection or copying.
(c) "Campus-affiliated advocate" and "survivor" have the definitions in RCW 28B.112.030
(17) Information and records prepared, owned, used, or retained by the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs and information and records prepared, owned, used, or retained by the Washington state patrol pursuant to chapter 261, Laws of 2017; and
(18) Any and all audio or video recordings of child forensic interviews as defined in chapter 26.44
RCW. Such recordings are confidential and may only be disclosed pursuant to a court order entered upon a showing of good cause and with advance notice to the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian. However, if the child is an emancipated minor or has attained the age of majority as defined in RCW 26.28.010
, advance notice must be to the child. Failure to disclose an audio or video recording of a child forensic interview as defined in chapter 26.44
RCW is not grounds for penalties or other sanctions available under this chapter.
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