Senate panel votes to classify private university police records as public

Following violent incidents involving private university police officers, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would classify those campus police records as public information.

The committee voted 5-0 in favor of sending Senate Bill 308 by Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, to the full Senate.

Robert Arnold, a reporter for KPRC-TV in Houston who reported on a videotaped beating of a man by Rice University police, testified on the bill. The 2013 beating was captured on a dash camera that Rice police refused to fully release to the public. The proposed legislation would make such records obtainable under the Texas Public Information Act.

Senate Bill 308 is set to go to the local and consent, or uncontested, calendar in the Senate. Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, has filed a House version of the legislation.