Judge not supportive of City of Mobile's attempt to dismiss FOX1 - FOX10 News | WALA

Judge not supportive of City of Mobile's attempt to dismiss FOX10 News body cam suit

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The City of Mobile logo. Photo: FOX10 News The City of Mobile logo. Photo: FOX10 News

FOX10 News Investigates is continuing its pursuit for all public records pertaining to the use of police body cameras. 

Friday morning, Judge Rick Stout heard arguments from attorneys representing the City of Mobile and FOX10 News, after the city filed a motion to have the lawsuit thrown out. 

While the judge's official opinion is still pending, his remarks in the courtroom Friday were supportive of transparency.

The judge indicated he would not be dismissing the case, and would instead give FOX10 News an opportunity to amend the original complaint in order to continue the pursuit for all public records surrounding police body cameras.

Mobile Police body camera use has been a topic under scrutiny since last fall, after a Mobile Police officer pepper-sprayed a group of students painting the cannon following the McGill versus Murphy football game, a tradition that's been going on for years. 

The police chief apologized for his officer's behavior, so FOX10 News requested to see the body camera video from that night. 

FOX10 News also requested a copy of the body camera policies, and asked the city to preserve the video from the incident. 

The city ignored our continued requests for the policies until June, when an official with the police department told us, "we do not release our policies."

So, FOX10 News filed suit, because we believe you the taxpayer are entitled to see those public documents.

Sure enough, five hours later, the city released a body camera policy. 

However, the lawsuit remained open, because the city did not fully respond to the lawsuit complaint. 

In court on Friday, FOX10's attorney, Carroll Sullivan, asked the city's attorneys if the video from the pepper-spray incident still exists. 

But, the city remained silent.

Attorneys representing both sides declined to comment in this case.

FOX10 News Investigates will keep you updated as this debate over public records continues.

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