Virginia bill opens inactive criminal investigative files to public

A Virginia bill, if signed by the governor, will open more law enforcement records to public inspection. The legislation will open inactive or completed criminal investigative files.

Open records and criminal justice advocates say law enforcement agencies have concealed their files, frustrating efforts to hold police accountable and to overturn wrongful convictions.

“Departments all over the state have made it a blanket policy to keep files confidential no matter what,” said Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.

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