The New Orleans Times-Picayune has sued the city’s police department, alleging that it has failed to provide a long list of public records requested by the newspaper and that it routinely delays the release of initial incident reports intended to inform the public about crime in the city. The suit cites six written requests for records by two reporters and an editor under the Louisiana Public Records Act.
Among the items sought by the newspaper: Records showing the number of crimes committed in each police district; weekly reports showing where various major crimes were committed; a homicide log; and statistics on arrests. The law requires that records be made available for inspection within three business days. The police department says it cannot provide basic information until reports work their way to a record room–a process the newspaper said can take more than two weeks.