Lee's perspective is interesting because he's a former police officer in Vinita. As an attorney, he became frustrated with Claremore's practice of requiring that requests for a dash-cam video be made through the district attorney's office. The police department determined which videotapes to provide to the DA. “They (prosecutors) can only give me what they've been given,” he said earlier this year.
Now two courts have cleared the way for easier and greater access, although Claremore's police chief says he hopes the Legislature will “take a look at this loophole” in 2014. Here's hoping the Legislature does nothing of the sort. If anything, lawmakers ought to revisit a bill passed in 2006 that exempted Oklahoma Highway Patrol dash-cam videos from the state's open records laws. There's no reason to have two sets of rules for law enforcement.