D.C. – Post Praise for Police Transparency Misses Key Point: Details Still Secret on Chase Driver’s Conduct in Sterling Death

The Washington Post editorial board wrote this morning (21) praising the “rigor and openness” of D.C. police internal trial board proceedings, concluding “it’s good that the D.C. police department recognized the importance of transparency, and that it has moved to hold accountable the officer whose actions caused what was determined to be an unnecessary death.” Sounds good? But…

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First Amendment vs. freedom of information law

Sometimes the First Amendment guarantees access to public records (generally limited to court records). Often Freedom of Information Acts and Public Records Acts are seen as fulfilling broader First Amendment values, by facilitating speech about how the government operates. But in Thursday's Roe v. Anderson (W.D. Wash. Oct. 23, 2014), a federal district judge relied on the First Amendment to block a state public records request.

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