As an attorney investigating claims made by clients that they had been abused by Seattle police officers, James Egan did what any good lawyer would do.
He filed public records requests with the Seattle Police Department, asking them to release several dash cam videos that likely would prove his clients’ claims.
But instead of handing him the videos, police slapped him with a lawsuit, accusing him of prying into the private lives of police officers through his valid requests.
It’s an absurd and weak defense considering Egan is not demanding the officers’ homemade sex tapes they made behind closed doors on their own time.
He’s asking for videos that were captured on tax-funded cameras mounted on the dashboards of tax-funded police cars, driven by a tax-funded cops on, you guessed it, tax-funded time.
The city attorney who filed the suit is saying he wants a judge to sort it out, according King 5 news.
The city attorney wants a court to decide. He says the Washington privacy act says the videos can’t be made public until final disposition of related litigation.
In other words not until the officers can no longer be sued for what they did in the video and that’s three years under the statute of limitations.
“We will follow what the court tells us and that why were going for guidance from the court,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.
If a judge decides, under the privacy act the videos can’t be released, the public will have to wait three years to see them.
“The idea that you can’t get a video until three years later is self protectionism. They don’t want the public to know the skeletons in their closets,” said Egan