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 filed a short notice to the court March 6 reporting that the case may 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 of the incident. After police noticed White was driving with no headlights, they cited him and also arrested him after finding his license suspended. MPD denied the video as exempt under the D.C. Freedom of Information Act because 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.