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Ohio Supreme Court Says Outgoing 911 Calls Are Public Record

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Ranny D.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a recording of an outgoing call by a 911 dispatcher is a public record.

The court sided 6-1 with the Cincinnati Enquirer, which had requested a recording of a 2013 call made by a 911 operator responding to a call about a man who wasn’t breathing. The operator had called back after the initial 911 caller suddenly hung up, and a man answered and confessed to stabbing his stepfather.

The Butler County Sheriff’s office says the second call was a confidential investigatory record and not a public record. But in ruling for the paper, Justice Judi French said in the majority opinion that the prosecutor failed to show that releasing the call would violate either state law or the Constitution.