Chesapeake bills citizens after denying requests to see body camera footage

Posted at 9:05 AM, May 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-18 09:05:44-04

Chesapeake, Va. - Across the country, police body cameras have recorded hero officers saving lives. In Florida, pulling a man from a burning car.

In Utah, saving a baby from a river.

And in Newport News, a body camera rolled as a thoughtful and compassionate police officer talked a man out of suicide.

You won't see any of that from Chesapeake.

Hundreds of times a year Chesapeake police officers record arrests on body cameras. Sometimes, citizens want to see that footage, but the Chesapeake city attorney always says no. But there is also something else included in that denial. A bill.

That's right, a legal bill just for asking.

A review of roughly 300 open-records requests filed with the Chesapeake City Attorney's Office last year shows in all body-camera cases, the city refused to release the video. And nearly all of the letters ended like this: "Attached you will find a bill."

Learn more about the bills Tuesday at 5.