Q: Why did Norman police show the Joe Mixon video to the media Thursday?
A: The Oklahoman and several other news organizations made requests under the state Open Records Act for the surveillance video. The assistant city attorney who advises the police determined the video is an open record.
Q: Is this unusual?
A: Yes. In the past, Norman police would not have allowed the media to see a video that is evidence in a criminal case. “You run the chance of compromising the prosecution,” Norman Police Capt. Tom Easley said Wednesday. “This is the first time.”
Q: Why the policy change?
A: Under the law, police must make available for public inspection any record involving “facts concerning the arrest, including the cause of arrest.” The assistant city attorney determined the video is such a record.
Q: What was the thinking there?
A: Recent court decisions have expanded what is considered a record involving facts concerning the arrest. Last year, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled a police dash-cam video of a DUI arrest must be made public for that reason.