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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Police don’t have to release ‘intimate images’ from body cams under bill signed by Inslee

Officer Ryan Snider hold a body camera used by the Spokane Police Department. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

OLYMPIA – Law enforcement agencies in Washington that equip their officers with body cameras will have better direction on what type of “intimate images” captured on video to delete when releasing images to the public.

A new law signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday better defines the term to include sexual activity and intimate body parts, whether a person is naked or visible through clothing, on the list of what should not be released in response to public records requests.

The law also makes permanent the rules established in 2016 that allow agencies to withhold images that would be “highly offensive to a reasonable person” such as images in a medical or health care facility, the interior of a residence, a minor or the body of a deceased person, as well as the victim of domestic violence.

Agencies must keep video from body cams for at least 60 days under the law.