A New York State Appeals Court ruled Tuesday that police body camera footage can be accessed by the public under state law.
It's a decision praised by De'Jon Hall, a member of Buffalo's Police Advisory Board, which was formed last year.
"I think myself, along with the board, generally applaud the court's decision to side with governmental transparency and accountability," Hall said.
Representatives for the NYPD's police union argued unsuccessfully that body camera footage should be treated as part of a police personnel record, and thus unavailable to the public.
Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans worries the ruling will open up officers to unfair scrutiny.
"The vantage point from them is not always the best, the lighting is not always the best, and what we want to get away from is for any officer to be pre-judged without those videos being dissected," Evans said.
New York's PBA also argued in court that making body camera videos public opens up potential safety threats for officers.
"I think there is some degree of merit and some privacy concerns for individual officers, however the job that they are performing is public in nature, and I think that when the court states the footage is more akin to a police report," Hall said.
The court said the union's privacy and safety worries for officers are valid, but blocking body camera footage from the public on those grounds would mean things like arrest and accident reports would also be blocked from public view.
Buffalo Police say they are reviewing the ruling and did not immediately return a request for comment.