Ruling: Public interest key in weighing open record cases

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – An appeals court has ruled a Kansas judge was wrong to dismiss a woman’s open records request seeking police body-camera video of her son’s shooting, ruling the judge could not deny it simply because it was part of a criminal investigation.

The Kansas Court of Appeals on Friday sent Trina Green’s case back to Wyandotte County for further hearings. The three-judge panel reversed a decision that had dismissed her case based on an exemption to the Kansas Open Records Act relating to investigatory records.

The appeals court says the judge should have considered whether its release was in the public interest and law enforcement agencies would have to explain how its release would harm investigations.

The Lawrence Journal-World reported the case stems from a 2016 incident. Her son survived.

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