Sacto 9-1-1
January 24, 2013
Judge rules video shown by KCRA-TV was a public document, throws out lawsuit

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

A Yolo County judge on Thursday rejected claims by a victims' advocacy group that a video showing the June 2008 shooting death of a Yolo County Sheriff's deputy played at trial and later aired by Sacramento's KCRA-TV violated the privacy of the slain deputy's family.

Attorney Nina Salarno Ashford of Crime Victims United represented the family of Deputy Sheriff Tony Diaz, killed by Marco Topete following a chase near Dunnigan.

Salarno Ashford argued for a protective order stopping viewing of the dashboard camera video that captured the shooting, citing privacy provisions in what is known as Marsy's Law that are designed to protect the privacy of crime victims and their families. Members of the Diaz family attended the hearing but did not speak with reporters.

She told Superior Court Judge Paul Richardson that the Yolo courts supplied the video to KCRA without the family's knowledge and that the TV station aired excerpts of video not seen in court violating the Diaz family's privacy. She cited privacy rights laid out in the states' Constitution.

"The family has a right to privacy. The family was not noticed. The Yolo County Sheriff's Department was not noticed," Salarno Ashford said.

But Judge Richardson cited a California court statute in denying the order with prejudice, saying court records, unless deemed confidential, are presumed to be public record.

Attorneys for KCRA parent Hearst-Argyle were not present at the brief hearing, but filed a response with the court.

Salarno Ashford said following the hearing she plans to pursue the matter. But First Amendment authority Terry Franck of California Aware agreed with the Thursday ruling.

"I think the ruling was correct," Franck said. "The documentation taken by a government agency is a matter of public record, especially in the matter of a court proceeding."

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About Sacto 9-1-1

Sacto 9-1-1 is a blog on crime and emergency services news in the Sacramento region.

Send feedback on Sacto 9-1-1 to Assistant Metro Editor Anthony Sorci at asorci@sacbee.com

Subscribe to Breaking News Alerts

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

Sacto 9-1-1 Q&A

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues. QUESTION: A couple of years ago, a Sacramento tax attorney named Roni Deutch was the target of an investigation by the California Department of Justice. She was accused of bilking clients out of millions and defying a court (Read More)

More Questions and Answers
See all the crime Q&As
Submit your question

April 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      

Monthly Archives


Kim Minugh on Twitter

Follow "Kim_Minugh" on Twitter

Local Agencies on Twitter

Categories