Sunshine Spotlight: Massachusetts
Public records advocates have always fought for stronger laws that allow for better oversight and accountability. Despite these efforts, law enforcement agencies are still finding loopholes to allow for the retention of information. While new police transparency bills in California and a recent public records overhaul in Massachusetts are huge victories for access, requesters still face serious barriers when trying to peek past the thin blue line.
While the 2016 reforms to Massachusetts Public Records Law brought some key changes, such as a cap on copying fees and agency response times, Bay State requesters can still face hefty financial barriers to getting their records.
Fourteen organizations have joined in on a public records lawsuit calling for the release of the Boston Police Department’s “gang” database, which the group claims labels, tracks, and shares information about young people it alleges to be involved in gangs.