Colorado Proposal Would Squeeze Release of Evidence Against Police


Disciplinary hearings for police officers accused of wrongdoing — and possibly even video evidence of their wrongdoing — would be closed to the public under a bill making its way through the Colorado legislature, reports the Denver Post. That bill and another to close investigative reports conducted by law enforcement agencies but turned over to civil authorities — records that are now open — are of concern to the Colorado Press Association.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mark Barker, R-Colorado Springs, says, “Any document generated or presented in connection with the hearing shall be treated as a personnel record and is subject to the legal protections afforded to personnel records.” Barker, a former police officer and prosecutor, said the legislation deals primarily with giving police officers in smaller jurisdictions the same kinds of due-process rights in disciplinary proceedings that those in larger communities have. He said the Fraternal Order of Police proposed the language in the bill.

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