NORMAN, Okla. – Almost two years after an OU football recruit was suspended from the team, an appeals court has ruled the surveillance footage from the assault he is accused of is public record.
"We therefore conclude the trial court erred in dismissing OAB;s petition for declaratory and injunctive relief and the matter must be returned to the trial court to further determine whether OAB’s interest—the public’s interest--in access to the record outweighs Defendants’’ reason(s) for denial of that access."- Court of Civil Appeals ruling
Joe Mixon was suspended after he punched 20-year-old Amelia Molitor in a restaurant on Campus Corner.
Molitor suffered several broken bones in her face.
Mixon entered an Alford plea to the assault charges.
The D.A.’s office said 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 had 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.
When it came to releasing the video, the City of Norman refused to make it public.
The City of Norman argued there are several reasons it did not release copies.
One, the law before Nov. of 2014 did not require officials to.
Secondly, Mixon was never arrested and the video belongs to Pickleman’s.
"The issue for the city really has to do with following what our understanding of the law is and it has a lot to do with the police department's articulated concern regarding seizing private property and then distributing it in mass," Rick Knighton, Norman’s City Attorney, said.
Many lawmakers said the City of Norman didn't abide by the law when refusing to make the video public.
Several media outlets filed a lawsuit against the city, requesting the video be released to the public.
Last year, a judge dismissed the case saying that since the video was shown to members of the media, the city fulfilled its duty.
However, on Monday, an appeals court ruled the video is considered public record and must be released.
Since the video was shown in court, the video must be considered court record, meaning any member of the public should have access to the video for inspection or copying purposes.
"If this had come out in the beginning when everybody asked for it it would probably all be over now," S. Douglas Dodd, OAB’s Attorney, said. "The important thing about this fight is to make sure that records that are supposed to be open public records remain open public records.”
KFOR crews are making a request for the video.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.