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…


Exemptions to records laws allow authorities to stifle talk of police reform, paper says

Exemptions to state public records laws allow police departments to conceal vast amounts of information and stifle meaningful discussion about police reform and accountability. According to a Washington Post analysis: All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow police departments to withhold records they consider investigatory. And in 35 states, police misconduct records are…


Google employees petition company to cancel police contracts

Google employees are signing an internal petition, calling on the company to stop selling technology to police departments. The letter, with the headline “No Police Contracts,” began circulating last week and has been signed by more than 1,100 employees, who identify themselves as part of “Googlers Against Racism.” The document, which CNBC viewed, asks CEO Sundar Pichai to…


Join a conversation on police transparency reforms

UPDATE: Watch the a recording June 19, 2020 For Immediate Release Contact: Daniel Bevarly, Executive Director 239.823.1811 The National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information present a conversation about police transparency reforms. The two organizations have called for more public oversight and transparency among the nation’s law enforcement agencies starting with opening every aspect…


As more police wear body-cams, states set new rules limiting access to footage

In the wake of widely publicized incidents of alleged police misconduct and officer-involved shootings, more and more cities around the country are equipping their police officers with body-worn cameras. But something else is happening, too: State lawmakers are setting new rules about who gets access to all that footage.


Uncovering information about police misconduct might soon get easier in California

California has some of the strictest laws in the U.S. against publicly releasing information about officer discipline.

State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) says recent high-profile clashes between police departments and the communities they serve show that now is the time to change the rules. Leno has introduced SB 1286, which would unravel some of the protections against releasing officer information. His push for transparency is generally supported by police reform advocates as a way to improve police-community relations.


Culture of concealment protects New York City police officers

When Glen Grays was inexplicably handcuffed and hauled off by the police in Brooklyn on March 17 while delivering the mail on his route in Crown Heights, the world soon learned a bit about him.

At a news conference given by Eric L. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, at which a video of the encounter was made public, Mr. Grays’s mother explained that she had six sons and worried about all of them.


California bill would open access to police misconduct records

Investigations into police shootings and other serious uses of force by law enforcement in California would be made public under new legislation.

Senate Bill 1286, announced Friday by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would also open access to findings of officer misconduct or job-related dishonesty. Law enforcement personnel records are strictly protected in California.


Is police misconduct a secret in your state?

If a police officer in your community has a history of misconduct, can you find out about it? It depends where you live.

WNYC spoke to attorneys and experts in all 50 states and reviewed relevant statutes and court cases to get a national picture of a local issue. We found that a police officer's disciplinary history is effectively confidential in almost half of US states. Continue…