In an email addressed to the editor of the Defender Linn County Attorney clarifies his denial of our open records request.

This is in response to your email of November 16th concerning the police dash-cam video involving Officer Lucas Jones and Jerime Mitchell.  At this time the dash-cam video is considered to be a confidential record pursuant to section 22.7(5) of the Iowa Code.  It is confidential under the law because it is treated as a peace officer’s investigative report that is part of an ongoing investigation.

Our interpretation of this statute has been consistent in officer involved shooting investigations.  For instance, you may recall the officer-involved shooting involving Kyle Orth occurred on March 29th, 2015.  The Iowa DCI turned their investigation over to me on May 15th.  I made my determination that the use of deadly force was reasonable on June 5th.  During that stretch of time, the video was not released because the matter was still under investigation.

Appeal procedures can be found under Chapter 22 of the Iowa Code.  Kindest regards, Jerry

Jerry A. Vander Sanden

Linn County Attorney