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More Video For All: Police Can Record More, But So Can Citizens

Megan Harris
90.5 WESA
Point Park University police officers became Pennsylvania’s first force to wear body cameras in 2016. Lt. Nicholas Black said in August it's no different than other gear, and that their presence emphasizes the department's commitment to transparency.";

In a public hearing this week, dozens of advocates spoke to Pittsburgh City Council about what legal distinction would come from declaring itself a "Sanctuary City" legislation. Pittsburgh is not a sanctuary city, and Councilman Dan Gilman has said that label doesn't matter as much as the city's actions.

90.5 WESA's Virginia Alvino Young and Bob Bauder, city government reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, discuss what it means to be a sanctuary city and what life is like for undocumented immigrants in Pittsburgh.


A report from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems didn't call for any closures in Pennsylvania's state higher education system, but consultants did call for the abolition of the current board of governors and reconfigurations for the institutions in the worst shape.

The state system has seen a decline in student enrollment for seven consecutive years, due in large part to the dwindling number of high school graduates in Pennsylvania. The Board of Governors voted Thursday to raise tuition 3.5 percent, or about $254 per year.

Higher education reporters Bill Schackner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Debra Erdley with the Greensburg Tribune-Review break down the recommendations.


With Gov. Tom Wolf's recent signature on a bill that exempts police body camera footage from the Wiretap Act, law enforcement is now able to record in private residences without permission. The new bill also removes footage from Pennsylvania's Right To Know Act. Requests for body camera content goes through a separate channel, and the request can be delayed and denied.

Police aren't the only ones with an expanding right to record. In a case brought by the ACLU against the City of Philadelphia, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided that recording a police officer in a public place is covered by the First Amendment.

Both of these moves claim to have a goal of increasing police transparency. Pittsburgh City Paper's Rebecca Addison and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Megan Guza discuss the growing relationship between cameras and law enforcement. 


The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

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