August 29th, 2008
Kentucky college students win access to more complete police reports
By David Cuillier
Congratulations to journalism students at Eastern Kentucky University for getting access to more complete university police reports. The Kentucky attorney general issued an opinion siding with the student newspaper, the Progress, saying the university police department was misusing Kentucky law by over-censoring police reports. It’s pretty typical for police to redact too much from police reports, but most state laws require police to demonstrate that the secrecy is necessary to protect an ongoing investigation or privacy of individuals.
If police are redacting reports willy-nilly, call them on it. Make them justify every blotted out word or line. If they claim they don’t have to, then get your state attorney general to issue an opinion.