After eight months, The Washington Post has won its fight for release of police body-worn camera video showing the June 2017 traffic stop of D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8). Background on the case is here.
And D.C. activist April Goggans has lost her case seeking records (that police say mostly don’t exist) from her experience of several years of police surveillance and harassment at her house in Ward 8 and in the neighborhood.
Trayon White Sr. Case
The parties on March 6 filed a short notice to the court that the case may now be closed because the Post and police “settled all claims.” Without any trial or decision on the merits, there is no legal precedent.
But the press won. An individual familiar with the details told the D.C. Open Government Coalition the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department reversed themselves and released the video. The original incident occurred when police noticed White was driving with no headlights, cited him and also arrested him after finding his license suspended. MPD at first denied the video as exempt under the D.C. Freedom of Information Act claiming release would invade White’s privacy.
The District’s privacy defense went a bit limp when White told a reporter in January that release was OK with him.