DES MOINES — The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa is filing a lawsuit that seeks to establish a precedent in state courts for the release of police body camera footage.A federal judge’s action has released the video recorded when a Burlington police officer shot at a dog, but wound up shooting a 34-year-old woman to death in 2015. Rita Bettis Austen, legal director for the ACLU of Iowa, said the lawsuit seeks to overturn the Iowa Public Information Board’s recent decision that keeping the footage secret did not violate the state’s open records law.“We’re arguing, essentially, that the Public Information Board got it wrong,” Bettis Austein said during a news conference in Des Moines. “…These records shouldn’t be held in secret for all time, forever.”Bettis Austen describes body cameras as expensive equipment that’s been “sold to the public” as a way to hold police accountable.“And yet, despite that promise, the decision that the Public Information Board that we’re appealing essentially says body camera footage can remain entirely secret unless the police want to disclose it,” Bettis Austen said.Autumn Steele died in January of 2015. The Des Moines County Attorney reviewed witness statements and body camera footage and determined the officer who shot Steele would not face charges.Just 12 seconds of video from the incident was released to the public. Last fall, after the family’s wrongful death lawsuit was settled, all of the body camera footage was released when a federal judge unsealed evidence in the case.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a high school student who contracted COVID-19 during a recent trip to Florida infected four other students when they returned for a graduation event on Saturday, June 20.The state’s contact tracing team is trying to locate people who have come into contact with the unidentified student from Horace Greeley High School, which is located in Westchester County.At the time, the student had not yet developed symptoms of the virus and was unaware of the infection.The person had also returned to New York before Cuomo ordered a 14-day quarantine for those arriving in that state from eight coronavirus hot spots, which include Florida.‘We’re prepared to do the aggressive testing and contact tracing required to slow and ultimately control any potential clusters of new cases like the one in Westchester County,’ Cuomo stated FridayThe “drive-in” graduation ceremony was held at a train station, although attendees reported that not everyone stayed in their cars. One of the infected students later went to a second event following the graduation, and came into contact there with students from other schools in the area.New York has recently gone from being among the worst-affected states to being one of the few that are on track to contain the coronavirus.In order to stop a second wave, Cuomo announced the new mandatory quarantine order last Wednesday for people arriving from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas.Those who do not follow the 14-day quarantine period risk a $10,000 fine.“In New York, it’s a travel advisory, you are informed you should quarantine for 14 days,” said Cuomo on Wednesday.However, The requirements do not apply to any individual passing through designated states for a limited duration, such as connecting on a plane or driving through the state.