Judge: Surveillance video related to Joe Mixon case will not be made public

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Joe Mixon, Photo courtesy of Cleveland County Jail

NORMAN, Okla. – Almost a year after an OU football recruit was suspended from the team, a legal battle is heating up over surveillance footage.

Joe Mixon was suspended last season after he punched 20-year-old Amelia Molitor in a restaurant on Campus Corner.

Molitor suffered several broken bones in her face.

Last year, officials say Mixon entered an Alford plea to the assault charges.

The Alford plea is a guilty plea in criminal court, but Mixon is not admitting guilt to the offense.

The D.A.’s office says OU freshman football player Joe Mixon would receive a one year deferred sentence in the plea deal.

It also won’t go on his record. He will have to serve 100 hours of community service and go to cognitive behavior counseling.

Authorities say the entire incident was caught on security cameras, and that video would be made public.

Through open records requests, Norman Police showed the video to several members of the media in September.

When it came to releasing the video, the City of Norman refused to make it public.

“Now that Mr. Mixon has pled and the case is over, I know of no exception that would allow the DA or the police to refuse to release that to the public,” Bob Nelon, a local attorney, said.

State Rep. Jason Murphey is one of the authors of the bill that changed the Open Records Act.

He and other lawmakers wanted to shore up inconsistencies with the way law enforcement releases video footage to the public.

“There is a great check and balance that occurs with the transparency of public knowledge and oversight.  It keeps our law enforcement officers honest, our prosecutors honest, [and] it keeps our judiciary honest to some extent when they know the public has the right and can see the same evidence they see,” Rep. Murphey said.

Murphey says the Mixon video should absolutely be released and that the City of Norman isn’t abiding by the law.

“I can see no defense that they can put forward to explain not releasing that to the public.  It`s unimaginable to me how they could possibly say that`s not public information at this time,” Rep. Murphey said.

Several media outlets filed a lawsuit against the city, requesting the video to be released to the public.

On Friday, the judge dismissed the case.

The judge says that since the video was shown to the media, the city fulfilled its duty.

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