King County libraries removing security cameras

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SEATTLE (AP) -- King County libraries are removing all security cameras to avoid giving any video to police that could invade patron privacy.

The director of the county library system, Bill Ptacek, told The Seattle Times it's an issue of intellectual freedom.

The system has about four-dozen cameras at 10 of its 46 libraries.

The issue of police access came up in March when Des Moines police obtained a court order to see video of a panhandler pushing down a 77-year-old man in a library parking lot and stealing a wallet. After they obtained the video, police identified and arrested a suspect, a transient.

Des Moines Police Chief John O'Leary says there should be no expectation of privacy in a library parking lot.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com