A state appellate court has overturned a ruling that protected video recordings of shootings involving police officers from the Open Public Records Act.
A Superior Court judge had ruled that the recordings were part of criminal investigatory records and exempt from the state OPRA law.
The court ruled that the Essex County Prosecutor never claimed the investigation would be damaged by the disclosure of the video or that confidentiality outweighed the public’s interest.
“Absent any articulated basis in the record, we are unable to agree that the ECPO had a legitimate interest in maintaining confidentiality of the recording outweighing the public’s right to access the information in accordance with OPRA,” the appellate judges wrote in their opinion.
Attorney CJ Griffin represented the appellant, Richard Rivera, who had initially sought the video recordings.
Griffin is a partner at Pashman Stein Walder and Hayden and is considered one of the state’s top OPRA attorneys.