A state judge has determined that videos routinely captured by cameras mounted in police cars during traffic stops and other law enforcement activities in New Jersey are public records.
The recent decision handed down by state Superior Court Judge Vincent Grasso means authorities cannot withhold the videos, even if they claim they pertain to criminal or internal affairs investigations.
Grasso's decision involved rulings he made in two similar but separate cases. Both matters involved people who made OPRA requests for videos of specific traffic stops.
But Grasso ruled that if police agencies require the regular recording of law enforcement activities, the videos qualify as government records and cannot be shielded if they later become part of an investigation.
The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office plans to appeal the rulings.