Many police personnel records remain secret, despite public pressure for transparency

Despite public pressure to make police misconduct and complaint records available to the public, many personnel records remain secret.

In some jurisdictions, because of state laws or by contract, officers can conceal their personnel files, including records of wrongdoing.

“Secrecy of police discipline has been a huge problem,” Sam Walker, an emeritus professor at the University of Nebraska who has studied policing for decades, told the McClatchy newspapers. “Academics ignored it, politicians were terrified, and police unions figured out you could play the crime card — any limits that would allow criminals to go free, you will be blamed.”