Law enforcement would benefit everyone by democratizing its data, column argues

Democratizing law enforcement data could benefit everyone — the police and the public they serve — argue Nancy La Vigne and Roy L. Austin Jr. of the Council on Criminal Justice Task Force on Policing in an Aug. 26, 2021, guest column for The Washington Post. “We cannot fix a problem we do not fully understand,” they…

More

Connecticut requires police body cameras, but bill doesn’t appoint overseer

Connecticut police departments must equip all officers with body cameras by July 2022. But the bill requiring body cameras didn’t designate a state agency to oversee implementation. “There is no enforcement mechanism regarding compliance,” said Marc Pelka, the undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning at the state’s Office of Policy and Management. According to…

More

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…

More

NFOIC joins amicus brief supporting release of police internal affairs records in New Jersey

The National Freedom of Information Coalition and 23 other organizations joined a Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press amicus brief supporting the release of police internal affairs records in New Jersey. In July 2019, a retired New Jersey police officer submitted a New Jersey Open Public Records Act request seeking access to police internal…

More

Having police body-worn cameras is one thing; releasing footage another, Wisconsin station says

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police began using body-worn cameras in 2015, but the public’s access to footage is limited in the state, according to WTMJ-TV. “We’re at the second phase of the battle,” said Attorney B’Ivory LaMarr, who represents the family of Joel Acevedo, who died after an off-duty police officer allegedly held him in a chokehold….

More

Colorado lawmakers wrap 2021 session with mixed marks on transparency scorecard

It was a session of highs and lows, as far as Colorado bills concerning government transparency. Among the positive developments in 2021: Legislators passed two police accountability bills that require more transparency from law enforcement agencies. On the downside: Lawmakers approved a bill allowing public bodies to disclose one finalist when choosing a city manager,…

More

Police body-camera footage: Too redacted, too costly, too delayed, transparency experts say

Body-cameras, heralded as a technology to enhance police transparency, haven’t done enough to ensure the public’s right to know, because agencies often heavily edit the footage. Not only does such editing obscure the footage, it also adds substantial costs and delays. That’s according to transparency experts and advocates who spoke to the Daily Memphian for…

More

‘Antidote for the distrust in law enforcement is transparency,’ California coalition leader writes

Opening police records to routine and systematic public scrutiny is the way to stop officer misconduct, argues First Amendment Coalition Executive Director David Snyder in an op-ed published in The Mercury News. Snyder wrote in support of California bills to enhance police transparency, including SB 16, which would require disclosure of records related to misconduct….

More

Ensuring open meetings and enhancing police transparency top coalitions’ policy priorities

The National Freedom of Information Coalition, a national 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, surveyed and questioned its state and local affiliates in the Winter and Spring of 2021 to obtain each affiliate’s top policy priorities and top perceived threats to transparency. The NFOIC released some results of its online survey in its “States of Denial” report,…

More