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D.C. body-cam access aired on Newseum TV

D.C. is at forefront of national debate over need to protect public access with sensitivity to crime victims' privacy concerns.

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Coalition updates nationwide body cam access report

Find out how states, cities are addressing thorny issues of collection, retention and public access.

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Coalition's first amicus brief tests Council exemption claim

Superior Court ruling would create 'FOIA black hole' from which Council records might never escape.

Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 2:11am

Are records of a public police discipline hearing, including the transcript and exhibits, to be locked away afterwards as though it never happened?

MPD in March denied such a records request by the Public Defender Service and has not responded to a decision by the mayor overruling that denial. Now the case has landed in Superior Court.

Police department misconduct terminations, as proposed in this case, are rare. Public appeal hearings airing the details are even more unusual. But this one last September was beyond rare for several reasons, according to press reports (see ExpertPages blog and WUSA9 TV):

Posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 10:02pm

The costs and burdens of allowing public access to charter school records in the District of Columbia seemed exaggerated in a Washington Post "Local Opinion" piece by Lis Kidder earlier this month. Her projections were far-fetched (and her sources unexplained). I wrote the letter below from my own experience.

To the Editors:

In my 20 years as an attorney in D.C. nonprofits making hundreds of FOIA requests I have never seen facts  matching those in the account by Lis Kidder (“How to make charter schools hire lawyers instead of teachers,” May 12, 2019).