Editorial: Public has a right to see criminal records

Like every other human behavior, crime has consequences, and not only for victims and their families. Perpetrators eventually find out that a criminal record can be a major impediment to getting a job, housing or educational benefits. Efforts currently underway in the General Assembly to automatically expunge certain criminal records in Virginia are an attempt…

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Michigan State Police launches new Transparency and Accountability webpage

Michigan State Police launched a new Transparency and Accountability webpage on Friday aimed to provide easy access to information about the administration and operation of the MSP. Information includes department policies, strategic plan, training requirements, recruiting and staffing numbers and use of force and traffic stop data. Additionally, Director Col. Joe Gasper said there will…

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Editorial: Washington Judge’s order imperils journalistic independence

A King County judge’s order that The Seattle Times and other media must turn over unpublished content to the police is a blow to independent journalism. The order imperils journalists documenting this summer’s historic protests and sends the wrong message about the media as a check on government power. Journalists’ unique role and responsibility is…

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N.Y. Judge temporarily blocks public release of Buffalo Police disciplinary records

A State Supreme Court judge has temporarily blocked the public release of individual disciplinary records for Buffalo Police and Buffalo firefighters for allegations that are pending or unsubstantiated. Hon. Frank Sedita III issued the decision Friday after the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association and the Buffalo Professional Firefighters Association filed a claim Wednesday saying that the…

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Can Civilian Oversight Change Police Behavior?

Since the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25th, the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) has fielded about ten times its normal four to five monthly requests from community groups and municipalities on establishing new police oversight bodies. At the same time, dozens more local governments are puzzling…

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Join a conversation on police transparency reforms

UPDATE: Watch the a recording June 19, 2020 For Immediate Release Contact: Daniel Bevarly, Executive Director dbevarly@nfoic.org 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…

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Public Safety Bill headed to California State Senate

Public safety legislation authored by California State Assembly member Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) to demilitarize law enforcement, build better police and community relations, and promote government transparency passed the State Assembly Saturday and will head to the State Senate. Todd Gloria spoke to Jason Austell about the bill. “Law enforcement, government, and the public are the foundation of every…

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Colorado: City Council votes to release police chief recruitment records after Judicial Watch lawsuit

The Fort Collins City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to release some records related to the city’s police chief recruitment process after a lawsuit from conservative group Judicial Watch. The group “uses the open records or freedom of information laws and other tools to investigate and uncover misconduct by government officials and litigation to hold to…

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Arizona: Maricopa County attorney seeks to usurp police control of records, video

A letter from Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to the region’s police departments spells out, apparently for the first time, a system that puts the prosecutor’s office in control of whether police records are released to the public or withheld. It warns of financial consequences for police departments that don’t comply.  The letter, obtained by The Arizona Republic, makes no direct mention…

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