Thomas Jefferson once wrote that “an enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic.” Pennsylvanians have clearly taken those words to heart.
For instance, last year, in a case interpreting Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law, the Commonwealth Court ordered the State Police to release dash cam footage. The issue of access to these recordings in Pennsylvania has been closely watched by transparency advocates, as these records are increasingly sought out in an era where video has redefined the debate over police use of force.
While the ruling in Pennsylvania State Police v. Grove has been appealed to the state Supreme Court, it symbolizes the progress Pennsylvania has made in opening government records to the public. Until 2008, when Pennsylvania overhauled its open records statute, law enforcement in the state was not even arguably required to disclose these records.
Read the rest of this story by managing editor Austin Nolen at City & State PA.