ACLU Opposes Bill Keeping Many 911 Calls Secret In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa is opposing a bill moving quickly through the Legislature that would block public access to 911 calls involving injuries.

The nonprofit registered against the bill Friday, one day after The Associated Press reported about the legislation.

The bill would declare that audio, video and transcripts of 911 calls involving injured victims of crimes or accidents are confidential medical records and exempt from the Iowa open records law. Calls involving minors would automatically be confidential.

Republican Rep. Dean Fisher says the bill was crafted after the AP sought 911 calls that shed light on gun violence in an Iowa county. Fisher says medical privacy outweighs the public’s right-to-know.

ACLU legal director Rita Bettis says 911 calls provide accountability on law enforcement and private organizations.

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