DES MOINES (AP) — The Iowa Public Information Board has reviewed a video that shows the alleged mistreatment of a teenager at a state juvenile facility and will decide whether to make the footage public next month.
The board held a private meeting Thursday to watch the video, the Des Moines Register reported.
Board members emerged after 14 minutes spent watching the video, captured by a security camera at the facility.
One of the state employees shown in the video was later fired and requested unemployment benefits. Based on testimony related to that request, the newspaper reported that the video allegedly showed employees of the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo dragging a 17-year-old girl down a hall as her pants slipped down her legs. She was left in an isolation cell.
The juvenile home came under intense criticism after the newspaper published a series of stories that documented questionable treatment of teenagers, including use of isolation cells and a lack of educational opportunities. Under orders by Gov. Terry Branstad, the facility was closed and the teenagers were moved to other centers.
The board will decide whether to make the video public at a meeting Feb. 20.
The Register filed a complaint with the board after state human services administrators denied a request for a copy of the video. Officials contend the video can be kept private because it involves treatment of an individual and has been given to police, making it part of an ongoing criminal case.
The newspaper argues that the girl's image could be blurred to ensure her confidentiality while ensuring the public has access to information about how the state treated youths in its care.
Board Executive Director Keith Luchtel has recommended keeping the video private because other teenagers who were at the juvenile home could identify her, even if her image were blurred.
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