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Nixon signs police video shield legislation

s_falkow | Flickr

Gov. Jay Nixon has signed a wide-ranging bill into law that contains language limiting the release of video recorded by police cameras.

Senate Bill 732 mandates that video recorded by cameras mounted on police cars or any other device carried by an officer, including body cameras, to be a closed record under Missouri's open records law.  It will also remain a closed record until the investigation becomes inactive.

Anyone who wants to view closed police videos will have to go to court and seek a judge's permission. If granted, that person would not be allowed to show the videos or describe their content without first contacting the people shown in them. Failure to do so would make that person liable for damages in any resulting lawsuit.

The measure also declares some crime scene photographs and video recorded by a state or local agency, or even by a crime suspect, to be a closed record.

Another provision within the legislation makes it a Class A misdemeanor for someone to willfully resist or refuse to obey a firefighter who is on duty, a protection already provided to law enforcement officers.

The new law takes effect Aug. 28.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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