Lawmaker: City of Norman is violating the Open Records Act

Joe Mixon, Photo courtesy of Cleveland County Jail

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NORMAN, Okla. - The City of Norman refuses to release the surveillance video allegedly showing star OU football recruit Joe Mixon punching a woman in the face.

The video was supposed to be released Monday.

Since city officials have denied requests from the media to see the video, some say they're violating the Open Records Act.

It's video that could have swayed a jury, but Joe Mixon is avoiding trial, jail time, and now the public may never see what happened.

The City of Norman is refusing to release the video that allegedly shows Mixon punching a female student in the face inside Pickleman's Deli.

Attorney Bob Nelon says the city is violating the Open Records Act.

"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," Nelon said.

State Representative 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.

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

Last Friday a judge called a special hearing to decide whether he had the authority to stop the video from being released, to keep the jury pool from being tainted.

But Thursday, Mixon entered his plea.

The city attorney says the DA's office told Norman Police that the video was no longer needed for prosecution, and it could be returned to its owner, Pickleman's Café.

The manager tells NewsChannel 4 he doesn't have it anymore.

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