Friday, November 3, FOX10 News continued its pursuit for full transparency from the city of Mobile.
A hearing was held in front of Mobile County Judge Rick Stout on the issue of the release of police body camera video.
This all stemmed from an incident last fall, when a group of McGill students were pepper-sprayed by a Mobile Police officer while they were painting the cannon after their big win against Murphy High School, a decades old tradition.
The chief even apologized for the incident, but refused to release the body camera video, which would show the public exactly how his officer behaved.
The police also refused to release the body camera policy, so FOX10 News filed suit against the city for those public records.
Once a copy of the policy was released, FOX10 News amended its suit to also ask for a copy of the body camera video from the pepper-spray incident, because FOX10 News believes you have the right to see police body camera video, paid for with your tax dollars.
Friday, in court, lawyers representing the city of Mobile, and attorneys representing FOX10 News, met in front of the judge to argue the issue.
Judge Stout heard arguments from both sides of the debate about whether or not police body camera video should be considered public record.
During the hearing, the judge also vocalized the importance of this issue before him, as the body cam debate is an issue facing local governments across the nation, as more and more law enforcement agencies begin to use body cameras.
In fact, in Baldwin County, Sheriff Hoss Mack released body camera video last month of a deadly officer-involved shooting.
Sheriff Mack released the video after the deputy involved was cleared by a grand jury, but, Mack said he will be willing to release any body cam videos of any incident in question, as long as the investigation is complete, no matter if his deputies were in the wrong or in the right.
The judge concluded the hearing Friday by giving FOX10 News an opportunity to add more information to FOX10's case, indicating he'll likely release an opinion in the coming weeks.
FOX10 News will let you know when a decision is reached.
All content © 2017, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.