Information from Virginia criminal investigations largely exempt from FOIA

At the request of the governor and prosecutors, the Virginia State Police are investigating the arrest of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson by Alcoholic Beverage Control agents, but it’s unlikely the public will have access to much of the investigation.

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act allows nearly all aspects of a criminal investigation to remain private, even after the investigation has closed. Law enforcement agencies can choose to release information from investigations but state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said that rarely happens in her agency.

An investigation was requested after pictures and videos of Johnson’s arrest show him on the ground with blood covering his face. Johnson’s attorney has stated that he needed 10 stitches. The agents have been put on administrative duties while state police review whether the incident violated policies. Continue>>>