Common Cause Massachusetts Statement on Withholding of Police Records

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  • pam wilmot

Today’s article in the Boston Globe about how Massachusetts police records are being systematically withheld from the public is just one example of what is wrong with the Massachusetts public records law. Nonetheless, it is a critical one.

As citizens, we need to know what our government is doing in order to hold it accountable for its actions. Giving police departments complete discretion to release their misconduct reports and other police records is a recipe for disaster, and for keeping the public in the dark.

As Justice Brandeis famously said, “sunshine is the best disinfectant.” With questions currently swirling around the use of excessive force and police conduct in general, there was never a time when this information is more needed.