42.56.230  <<  42.56.240 >>   42.56.250

RCW 42.56.240

Investigative, law enforcement, and crime victims.

The following investigative, law enforcement, and crime victim information is exempt from public inspection and copying under this chapter:
(1) Specific intelligence information and specific investigative records compiled by investigative, law enforcement, and penology agencies, and state agencies vested with the responsibility to discipline members of any profession, the nondisclosure of which is essential to effective law enforcement or for the protection of any person's right to privacy;
(2) Information revealing the identity of persons who are witnesses to or victims of crime or who file complaints with investigative, law enforcement, or penology agencies, other than the commission, if disclosure would endanger any person's life, physical safety, or property. If at the time a complaint is filed the complainant, victim, or witness indicates a desire for disclosure or nondisclosure, such desire shall govern. However, all complaints filed with the commission about any elected official or candidate for public office must be made in writing and signed by the complainant under oath;
(3) Any records of investigative reports prepared by any state, county, municipal, or other law enforcement agency pertaining to sex offenses contained in chapter 9A.44 RCW or sexually violent offenses as defined in RCW 71.09.020, which have been transferred to the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs for permanent electronic retention and retrieval pursuant to RCW 40.14.070(2)(b);
(4) License applications under RCW 9.41.070; copies of license applications or information on the applications may be released to law enforcement or corrections agencies;
(5) Information revealing the identity of child victims of sexual assault who are under age eighteen. Identifying information means the child victim's name, address, location, photograph, and in cases in which the child victim is a relative or stepchild of the alleged perpetrator, identification of the relationship between the child and the alleged perpetrator;
(6) Information contained in a local or regionally maintained gang database as well as the statewide gang database referenced in RCW 43.43.762;
(7) Data from the electronic sales tracking system established in RCW 69.43.165;
(8) Information submitted to the statewide unified sex offender notification and registration program under RCW 36.28A.040(6) by a person for the purpose of receiving notification regarding a registered sex offender, including the person's name, residential address, and email address;
(9) Personally identifying information collected by law enforcement agencies pursuant to local security alarm system programs and vacation crime watch programs. Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted so as to prohibit the legal owner of a residence or business from accessing information regarding his or her residence or business;
(10) The felony firearm offense conviction database of felony firearm offenders established in RCW 43.43.822;
(11) The identity of a state employee or officer who has in good faith filed a complaint with an ethics board, as provided in RCW 42.52.410, or who has in good faith reported improper governmental action, as defined in RCW 42.40.020, to the auditor or other public official, as defined in RCW 42.40.020;
(12) The following security threat group information collected and maintained by the department of corrections pursuant to RCW 72.09.745: (a) Information that could lead to the identification of a person's security threat group status, affiliation, or activities; (b) information that reveals specific security threats associated with the operation and activities of security threat groups; and (c) information that identifies the number of security threat group members, affiliates, or associates;
(13) The global positioning system data that would indicate the location of the residence of an employee or worker of a criminal justice agency as defined in RCW 10.97.030; and
(14) Body worn camera recordings to the extent nondisclosure is essential for the protection of any person's right to privacy as described in RCW 42.56.050, including, but not limited to, the circumstances enumerated in (a) of this subsection. A law enforcement or corrections agency shall not disclose a body worn camera recording to the extent the recording is exempt under this subsection.
(a) Disclosure of a body worn camera recording is presumed to be highly offensive to a reasonable person under RCW 42.56.050 to the extent it depicts:
(i)(A) Any areas of a medical facility, counseling, or therapeutic program office where:
(I) A patient is registered to receive treatment, receiving treatment, waiting for treatment, or being transported in the course of treatment; or
(II) Health care information is shared with patients, their families, or among the care team; or
(B) Information that meets the definition of protected health information for purposes of the health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996 or health care information for purposes of chapter 70.02 RCW;
(ii) The interior of a place of residence where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy;
(iii) An intimate image as defined in RCW 9A.86.010;
(iv) A minor;
(v) The body of a deceased person;
(vi) The identity of or communications from a victim or witness of an incident involving domestic violence as defined in RCW 10.99.020 or sexual assault as defined in RCW 70.125.030, or disclosure of intimate images as defined in RCW 9A.86.010. If at the time of recording the victim or witness indicates a desire for disclosure or nondisclosure of the recorded identity or communications, such desire shall govern; or
(vii) The identifiable location information of a community-based domestic violence program as defined in RCW 70.123.020, or emergency shelter as defined in RCW 70.123.020.
(b) The presumptions set out in (a) of this subsection may be rebutted by specific evidence in individual cases.
(c) In a court action seeking the right to inspect or copy a body worn camera recording, a person who prevails against a law enforcement or corrections agency that withholds or discloses all or part of a body worn camera recording pursuant to (a) of this subsection is not entitled to fees, costs, or awards pursuant to RCW 42.56.550 unless it is shown that the law enforcement or corrections agency acted in bad faith or with gross negligence.
(d) A request for body worn camera recordings must:
(i) Specifically identify a name of a person or persons involved in the incident;
(ii) Provide the incident or case number;
(iii) Provide the date, time, and location of the incident or incidents; or
(iv) Identify a law enforcement or corrections officer involved in the incident or incidents.
(e)(i) A person directly involved in an incident recorded by the requested body worn camera recording, an attorney representing a person directly involved in an incident recorded by the requested body worn camera recording, a person or his or her attorney who requests a body worn camera recording relevant to a criminal case involving that person, or the executive director from either the Washington state commission on African-American affairs, Asian Pacific American affairs, or Hispanic affairs, has the right to obtain the body worn camera recording, subject to any exemption under this chapter or any applicable law. In addition, an attorney who represents a person regarding a potential or existing civil cause of action involving the denial of civil rights under the federal or state Constitution, or a violation of a United States department of justice settlement agreement, has the right to obtain the body worn camera recording if relevant to the cause of action, subject to any exemption under this chapter or any applicable law. The attorney must explain the relevancy of the requested body worn camera recording to the cause of action and specify that he or she is seeking relief from redaction costs under this subsection (14)(e).
(ii) A law enforcement or corrections agency responding to requests under this subsection (14)(e) may not require the requesting individual to pay costs of any redacting, altering, distorting, pixelating, suppressing, or otherwise obscuring any portion of a body worn camera recording.
(iii) A law enforcement or corrections agency may require any person requesting a body worn camera recording pursuant to this subsection (14)(e) to identify himself or herself to ensure he or she is a person entitled to obtain the body worn camera recording under this subsection (14)(e).
(f)(i) A law enforcement or corrections agency responding to a request to disclose body worn camera recordings may require any requester not listed in (e) of this subsection to pay the reasonable costs of redacting, altering, distorting, pixelating, suppressing, or otherwise obscuring any portion of the body worn camera recording prior to disclosure only to the extent necessary to comply with the exemptions in this chapter or any applicable law.
(ii) An agency that charges redaction costs under this subsection (14)(f) must use redaction technology that provides the least costly commercially available method of redacting body worn camera recordings, to the extent possible and reasonable.
(iii) In any case where an agency charges a requestor for the costs of redacting a body worn camera recording under this subsection (14)(f), the time spent on redaction of the recording shall not count towards the agency's allocation of, or limitation on, time or costs spent responding to public records requests under this chapter, as established pursuant to local ordinance, policy, procedure, or state law.
(g) For purposes of this subsection (14):
(i) "Body worn camera recording" means a video and/or sound recording that is made by a body worn camera attached to the uniform or eyewear of a law enforcement or corrections officer from a covered jurisdiction while in the course of his or her official duties and that is made on or after June 9, 2016, and prior to July 1, 2019; and
(ii) "Covered jurisdiction" means any jurisdiction that has deployed body worn cameras as of June 9, 2016, regardless of whether or not body worn cameras are being deployed in the jurisdiction on June 9, 2016, including, but not limited to, jurisdictions that have deployed body worn cameras on a pilot basis.
(h) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to restrict access to body worn camera recordings as otherwise permitted by law for official or recognized civilian and accountability bodies or pursuant to any court order.
(i) Nothing in this section is intended to modify the obligations of prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), Kyles v. Whitley, 541 U.S. 419, 115 S. Ct. 1555, 131 L. Ed.2d 490 (1995), and the relevant Washington court criminal rules and statutes.
(j) A law enforcement or corrections agency must retain body worn camera recordings for at least sixty days and thereafter may destroy the records; and
(15) Any records and information contained within the statewide sexual assault kit tracking system established in RCW 43.43.545.
NOTES:
Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2016 c 163 § 2 and by 2016 c 173 § 8, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).
FindingIntent2016 c 173: See note following RCW 43.43.545.
FindingIntent2016 c 163: "The legislature finds that technological developments present opportunities for additional truth-finding, transparency, and accountability in interactions between law enforcement or corrections officers and the public. The legislature intends to promote transparency and accountability by permitting access to video and/or sound recordings of interactions with law enforcement or corrections officers, while preserving the public's reasonable expectation that the recordings of these interactions will not be publicly disclosed to enable voyeurism or exploitation." [ 2016 c 163 § 1.]
Finding2013 c 190: See note following RCW 42.52.410.
SeverabilityPart headings, subheadings not law2008 c 276: See notes following RCW 36.28A.200.