Opposition Grows To Iowa Bill Making Many 911 Calls Secret

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Civil rights groups, media advocates and some lawmakers are opposing an Iowa bill that would end public access to many 911 calls.

The bill would declare that 911 calls involving emergencies in which people are injured are confidential “medical records” and exempt from Iowa’s open records law.

The measure says the secrecy would not be limited to 911 call recordings themselves — a clause that critics fear could apply to videos documenting the aftermath of officer-involved shootings. All calls made by minors or about minors would also become secret.

The bill passed the Iowa House with little debate, with backers saying it would protect medical privacy and the privacy of children. But a chorus of opposition has emerged as the Republican-controlled Senate considers whether to schedule it for a vote.

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