OKLAHOMA CITY – A recent ruling mandates that the surveillance video used as evidence in a misdemeanor assault case against University of Oklahoma football player Joe Mixon is not to be considered a court record.
KFOR in Oklahoma City is reporting that Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman also ruled that the video should stay in the custody of the City of Norman.
In Sept. 2014, media outlets filed open records requests for the video. As a result, Norman police showed the video to several media members.
An appeals court ruled the video is considered public record and must be released on Monday.
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Some argue that the video, which was shown in court, should be considered court record, making it publicly accessible for inspection or copying purposes.
“If this had come out in the beginning when everybody asked for it would probably all be over now,” S. Douglas Dodd, OAB’s Attorney, said. “The important thing about this fight is to make sure that records that are supposed to be open public records remain open public records.”
Currently, however, the City of Norman is not making the video public.
The city’s argument for not making it public stems from two reasons. The first reason being that the law before November 2014 did not require officials to do so. The second being that Mixon was never arrested and therefore the video belongs to Pickleman’s Gourmet Café.
“The issue for the city really has to do with following what our understanding of the law is and it has a lot to do with the police department’s articulated concern regarding seizing private property and then distributing it in mass,” Rick Knighton, Norman’s City Attorney, said.
Certain lawmakers are accusing the City of Norman of not abiding by the law when refusing to make the video public.
Now, KFOR reports, several media outlets have filed a lawsuit against the city, requesting the video be released to the public.
Last year, Judge Balkman dismissed the case because, he says, the city fulfilled its duty by showing the video to members of the media.
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