When the Dallas police used a bomb robot to kill a suspect who had shot and killed five police officers and wounding nine others, it set a controversial precedent that raised questions about the procedures and practices the police had followed to determine whether to use a remote detonation explosive. Multiple journalists filed Freedom of Information Act requests to learn more about the police’s decision-making process.
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On June 1 of last year, the Dallas Police Department launched a new records management and field reporting system. Police officials promised it would give the department “improved intelligence-gathering capabilities, increased accountability throughout the investigative process, and improved integration with the District Attorney’s Office.” The new system would also briefly shut down the online records portal. Thirty days tops, they said. No big deal.
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