Democracy’s Essentials: Questions and Answers on Free Speech & 1st Amendment issues

Programs: Public Events

Democracy’s Essentials:
Questions and Answers on Free Speech &
1st Amendment issues

The Law Enforcement Investigatory Records Exemption it makes it much tougher to get files here than in most other states or even from the FBI.  Attorney Duffy Carolan explains how much it limits access for journalists as well as citizens. [Video clip: 5:59 min.] Does the Investigatory exemption expire when the case is closed?” 

What happens to police investigation files when a case is closed?  Can the public at last gain access? Attorney Duffy Carolan and Associated Press Bureau Chief John Raess explain how the exemption survives long after the case is closed. [Video Clip – 4:00 min.]

Police body cam video captures police interactions with citizens, often in highly distressing situations. Does the citizen have a right to be protected from the public’s gaze? In turn, do citizens have the right to photograph police action? Editor David Little and  Attorney Jim Ewert tackle the issues.

Reporters are often criticized for quoting anonymous sources in stories regarding alleged police misconduct.  In this clip, Peter Scheer, K.C. Meadow and Duffy Carolan discuss the issue of accessing police investigatory records and why the public records exemption forces reporters to resort to anonymous sources.

When public officials conduct the public’s business using emails — either from a public account or their private email account–the public should have access to those documents. However, California law is not yet settled on the public’s right to access emails, especially from personal accounts. Public employee salaries and pension data has been publically available since 2006 in California. Peter Scheer asks journalists KC Meadow and David Little how their newspapers have handled the access to that data and whether they’ve experienced any criticism when the numbers are published.

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