Existing law, the California Public Records Act, requires that public records, as defined, be available to the public for inspection and made promptly available to any person. Existing law makes records of investigations conducted by any state or local police agency exempt from these requirements. Existing law requires specified information regarding the investigation of crimes to be disclosed to the public unless disclosure would endanger the safety of a person involved in an investigation or would endanger the successful completion of the investigation.
AB 748 amended Government Code 6254. This bill, commencing July 1, 2019, allows a video or audio recording that relates to a critical incident, as defined, to be withheld for 45 calendar days if disclosure would substantially interfere with an active investigation, subject to extensions, as specified. The bill allows the recording to be withheld if the public interest in withholding video or audio recording clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure because the release of the recording would, based on the facts and circumstances depicted in the recording, violate the reasonable expectation of privacy of a subject depicted in the recording, in which case the bill allows the recording to be redacted to protect that interest. If the agency demonstrates that the reasonable expectation of privacy of a subject depicted in the recording cannot adequately be protected through redaction, the bill requires that the recording be promptly disclosed to a subject of the recording, his or her parent, guardian, or representative, as applicable, or his or her heir, beneficiary, immediate family member, or authorized legal representative, if deceased.
AB 748 defines a video or audio recording that relates to a critical incident if it depicts any of the following incidents:
- An incident involving the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer.
- An incident in which the use of force by a peace officer or custodial officer against a person resulted in death or in great bodily injury.