High court case could make Pa. police footage more accessible

    (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    A 2014 car crash could change the way Pennsylvania handles disclosure of police dash-camera footage.

    In many states, it’s common to regularly release police videos to the public. The practice is rarer in Pennsylvania — but maybe not for much longer.

    A case heard by the Supreme Court Wednesday — Pennsylvania State Police vs. Grove — stems from a car accident Michelle Grove’s friend was in near State College two years ago.

    Grove requested police footage of the scene after the accident, and the police turned her down.

    However, the state Office of Open Records later ordered the footage released, and Commonwealth Court ruled in Grove’s favor.

    The Supreme Court case largely revolves around a provision of the right-to-know law, which states that criminal investigative records are exempt from disclosure requirements.

    The police are arguing this encompasses the work they were doing at the crash scene. Grove’s lawyers say release of the footage is justified.

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