State law provides a process to obtain a copy of law enforcement recordings. Please see N.C.G.S. §132-1.4A. In order to obtain a COPY of a recording, you must first file a “Petition for Release of Custodial Law Enforcement Agency Recording,” which is a court pleading, and set the matter down for a hearing. A copy of the petition can be found at Petition For Release Of Custodial Law Enforcement Agency Recording. Once this petition for release has been filed, a copy of the petition should be served by certified mail on the Police Attorney’s office at:
GPD Police Attorney’s Office
200 E. Long Ave.
Gastonia, North Carolina 28054
In order to REVIEW a law enforcement recording, there are two procedures:
Effective 12/1/2021 Procedure for immediate disclosure related to a death or serious bodily injury:
- A person requesting disclosure of a law enforcement recording that depicts a death or serious bodily injury must submit a signed and notarized AOC form provided by the custodial law enforcement agency. This hyperlink is the form: Request to Law Enforcement Agency to Disclose Recording of Death or Serious Bodily Injury.
- The form can be submitted to the Gastonia Police Department as follows: Once the form is completed in its entirety you may drop it at the Gastonia Police Department. You may also email the form to VideoDisclosure@gastonianc.gov or you may mail the form by USPS to: Gastonia Police Department, Attn: Video Disclosure, 200 E. Long Ave., Gastonia, North Carolina 28054
- No later than three (3) business days from the Gastonia Police Department’s receipt of that form, the Gastonia Police Department will file a petition in Superior Court for issuance of a court order regarding disclosure of the requested recording.
- The Gastonia Police Department will also deliver a copy of the petition and the recording(s) to the senior resident superior court judge.
- The Court will conduct an in-camera review and will enter an Order within seven (7) business days of the filing of the petition with specific instructions, conditions or restrictions.
NOTE: A serious bodily injury is defined as a bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or that results in prolonged hospitalization.
Procedure to review a recording that does not depict death or serious bodily injury:
You must send a specific written request to the Chief of Police and/or the Police Attorney. Your request must indicate the date and approximate time of the activity captured in the recording or otherwise identify the activity with reasonable particularity sufficient to identify the recording to which the request relates.
The head of the custodial law enforcement agency may only disclose a recording to the following:
- A person whose image or voice is in the recording.
- A personal representative of an adult person whose image or voice is in the recording, if the adult person has consented to the disclosure (notarization of consent is required).
- A personal representative of a minor or of an adult person under lawful guardianship whose image or voice is in the recording (guardianship documentation is required).
- A personal representative of a deceased person whose image or voice is in the recording.
- A personal representative of an adult person who is incapacitated and unable to provide consent to disclosure (power of attorney or other legal documentation required).
When disclosing the recording, the law enforcement agency will only disclose only those portions of the recording that are relevant to the person’s request. A person who receives disclosure pursuant to this subsection shall not record or copy the recording.
NOTE: A personal representative is defined as a parent, court-appointed guardian, spouse, or attorney (effective 12/1/2021 a licensed North Carolina attorney) of a person whose image or voice is in the recording. If a person whose image or voice is in the recording is deceased, the term also means the personal representative of the estate of the deceased person; the deceased person’s surviving spouse, parent, or adult child; the deceased person’s attorney (effective 12/1/2021 a licensed North Carolina attorney); or the parent or guardian of a surviving minor child of the deceased.
NOTE: Disclose is defined as making a recording available for viewing or listening to by the person requesting disclosure, at a time and location chosen by the custodial law enforcement agency. This definition does not include providing a copy of the recording. Section 132-1.4A. prohibits the requesting person from recording the recording.
If you meet the criteria above and your request is not for disclosure of a death or serious bodily injury, you may download the Video Disclosure Request form using the link below. Once you have completed the form in its entirety you may drop it and all required verification documents necessary at the Gastonia Police Department. You may also email the form and documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org or you may mail the form and documentation by USPS to:
Gastonia Police Department
Attn: Video Disclosure
200 E Long Ave
Gastonia, North Carolina 28054
If you have any questions regarding the required form(s), the process, or your qualifications to watch a video please email those questions to email@example.com.