City officials said release of the police response video of the accident on Oct. 29 will be “later this week.” Ross last week admitted he had too much to drink when he attempted to ride his bicycle home and crashed near the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and 14th Street.
“The police responded to a call for aid and gave me a ride home. This probably would not have happened had I not had too many drinks downtown that afternoon,” Ross said in a written public apology last Thursday.
Ross did not to respond to a request from the Observer to provide details of the incident.
In response to the Observer’s Nov. 28 public records request for the footage, the city responded, “The Fernandina Beach Police Department utilizes FaceLogics to facilitate public records requests that require video redaction services for video recordings including body worn camera (BWC) footage, in-car camera footage, or any other video recording footage. Florida State Statutes requires certain confidential information to be redacted from video recordings.”
Officer Colby Sears was summoned at 7:36 p.m. to a report of “a young man with a bicycle laying in the grass rolling around” near the intersection. About 20 minutes later, Officer Sears provided Ross a ride home.
While the city cites Florida privacy laws in regard to the body camera recording, state law also states that the person being videoed can request the unedited footage.
“A video can be released to the person being recorded or their representative, under F.S. 119.071(2)l(4)b (body worn camera footage). Whether the case is criminal, civil, or administrative has no bearing on the release of the video.”
Ross has not requested the video.
Privacy concerns under state law would include disclosure of a person’s personal information such as home address or cellphone number.