An Alamance County Superior Court Judge said Wednesday the Graham Police Department and Alamance Sheriff’s Office can withhold video footage from the Oct. 31 ‘I Am Change’ march that resulted in pepper spraying and arrests, pending an appeal on a previous order.
The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office and the Graham Police Department were previously ordered by Alamance County Superior Court Judge Andrew Hanford to release the video footage from the march by June 25. The order included all body camera, dash camera and other law enforcement surveillance footage taken during the march. Seven news outlets, including Elon News Network, petitioned for the release of the footage, unedited, in December.
The Raleigh News and Observer, one of the petitioning media outlets, reviewed footage released by subpoena to people who were arrested at the march and charged. According to the News and Observer, officers conversed and laughed about pepper spraying marchers.
Hanford denied a request from Tony Biller, a private attorney hired by Graham, to force media outlets to blur officers’ faces and name tags in the video footage. Hanford also denied the media outlets’ request for members of law enforcement to appear in court.
The Graham Police Department must move forward with its appeal by taking delivery of the transcripts and proposing a record on appeal within 45 days of the receipt of the transcripts. The record on appeal will then be settled and then docketed with the Court of Appeals, which will issue a briefing order after.
The timeline for when a final decision will be made remains unclear and the video footage will not be released until that decision is made.