The state Supreme Court issued a ruling Monday that restricts the amount of information police are required to release about arrests, prompting fears among advocates of open government that the public will not have access to important information about crimes.
The unanimous decision in Commissioner of Public Safety v. Freedom of Information Commission was authored by Justice Richard A. Robinson. The court ruled that police are required only to release basic “blotter” information about arrests, including the name and address of the person arrested, the date, time and place of the arrest, the criminal charges and a news release or narrative of the arrest. Though police reports are considered public records, the police are not required to release them while a case is pending.
“It’s a great day for police departments who want to withhold information,” said attorney Daniel Klau, past president of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government and supervisor of Yale Law School interns who filed a brief in the case on behalf of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information. Continue>>>