do people named in a police incident report have the right to see the report (Somerville, MA)
1 answer from Michael Morisy.
Within the past few months 2 friends of mine were accused by another acquaintance of a criminal act. This complaint was lodged with the Somerville, MA Police department…
Soon after this complaint was lodged, a number of folks (myself included) were contacted by the SPD and asked to provide our recollection of that night.
I personally was told by the detective that a report would be filed (she told me this as she asked for my birth date and current address).
The folks who have been accused have not heard anything since speaking with the detective; as far as I know none of the other folks questioned/involved have heard anything either (except for maybe the accuser?) - you can imagine how being accused of a crime and not ever hearing an update on whether there will be police action or not would affect a person’s everyday life and relationships, etc…
Can my friends who have been accused (or those of us who are named in the report) just contact the police department and ask for a copy of the report or do we have to file a FOI request (or will an FOI request not even suffice)?
You should be able to just request a copy of the report. It would generally be covered under public records law, but the quickest route would be to call the police station and ask for a copy.
They’ve generally been helpful in locating it, but asked me to show up in person to pick it up and pay a $2-3 for the copy.