Four years after “winning” the Golden Padlock, Massachusetts State Police remains committed to secrecy
More often than not, Massachusetts has been hailed as one of the worst states in terms of access to information, blocking access to the judiciary, the legislature, and the office of the governor. Even more alarming, lengthy response times and frequently cited exemptions by its police departments all contribute to that reputation for restrictiveness. In fact, in 2015, the Massachusetts State Police won a unique award for its “contributions” to access.
For first time in state’s history, Massachusetts Attorney General sues agencies for not complying with public records law
After a two-year legal battle, a Suffolk County District Judge has ordered three District Attorneys in Massachusetts to release records to The Boston Globe following a lawsuit spearheaded by the state’s Attorney General, Maura Healey. This is the first time the state AG has sued another agency for failing to release records.
Access to police records is an issue all across the country
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.
Requester’s Voice: Todd Wallack
Todd Wallack is an investigative reporter for the Boston Globe. For this week’s Requester’s Voice, Wallack talks about his own strategies for submitting requests for data, prospects for FOIA reform and infatuation with privacy.