The Latest: Lawyer defends release of police shooting videos

AP News
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Posted: Feb 06, 2017 3:05 PM

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a hearing over whether a Los Angeles federal court judge abused his authority by releasing video of a fatal shooting by police before they could get a higher court to intervene. (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

A federal appeals court in California has asked a news media lawyer why court orders to release video of deadly police encounters should not automatically be stayed pending appeal.

Judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday pressed an attorney representing The Associated Press and other news organizations to explain why it was in the public interest to release the footage without review by a higher court.

Media attorney Kelli Sager says public interest favors disclosure and the issue is moot because video of a 2013 fatal police shooting of an unarmed man in a Los Angeles suburb was published.

A Gardena city lawyer says a ruling withholding video could prevent potential rioting and violence.

Sager pointed out that no violence followed release of the footage in 2015.

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11:53 p.m.

An appeals court will consider whether video of police shooting an unarmed man in a Los Angeles suburb was released prematurely by a federal judge.

Attorneys for the city of Gardena will argue Monday that the judge should be admonished for not withholding the footage while it appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appeal being challenged by The Associated Press and other news media organizations is largely procedural because the video was published after its release in 2015.

Judge Stephen V. Wilson ordered the video released after saying it was important for the public to see whether the 2013 fatal shooting of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was justified. He also said it was important in understanding why the city had agreed to pay $4.7 million to settle the case.