The media received an open invitation by Norman Police to view that alleged assault video of OU running back Joe Mixon. But, it was made clear no cameras or any other recording devices are allowed. So that means the public won't be allowed to see it yet, and a media law expert calls that an absurd twisting of the Open Records Law.
News 9 will have a chance to see the video Thursday morning, but we'll only be able to look at it. We can't record it, make a copy of it, and for now we can't share it with you.
“Why can't it be recorded,” asked News 9's Evan Anderson.
“It can't be recorded because again, the Open Records Act says available for public inspection and the Norman Police Departments policy has been to allow those types of documents to be inspected, but not copied,” said Norman's Assit. City Attorney, Rick Knighton.
Norman Police refuse to provide copies of the video that allegedly shows an altercation between OU running back Joe Mixon, and OU Junior Amelia Molitor from late July. Mixon was suspended for the entire upcoming football season after being charged with a misdemeanor.
“The specific provision regarding law enforcement records says, public inspection, and it doesn't say copying,” said Knighton.
“It's an absurdity. It's an absurdity to say that after all these years, that suddenly the public doesn't have a right to get a copy of incident reports, or arrest reports,” said Joey Senat.
Media law expert, Joey Senat calls is a complete twisting of the law.
“And it's actually insulting to the public, because they think we're just so stupid we just accept this nonsensical statement that people don't have the gumption to actually challenge what they're saying,” said Senat.
Senat said he quickly looked up two state attorney general opinions that say police records must be made available for inspection and copying.
“Law enforcement agencies have rules and regulations that they're required to follow, and one of them again is the Open Records Act, and specifically talks about making this document available for public inspection,” said Knighton.
The video is available to the public after this Thursday, but you have to go to the Norman police station to request to view it. By law, it must be released by Nov. 1.
8/15/2014 Related Story: OU's Joe Mixon To Be Charged With Misdemeanor