The Concord, N.H., police have dramatically restricted the amount of information included in arrest reports made available to the public after a complaint from City Councilor Fred Keach and his lawyer, who said the police disclosed too much information after Keach was charged with driving while intoxicated last fall, the Concord Monitor reports.
Until recently, the reports often included a narrative account of the circumstances that led to an arrest, explaining why the police were called and what happened when they made the arrest. Now the reports are limited to a list of basic information, including the name of the person arrested, the charges filed by the police, the time and location of the arrest, and the name of the arresting officer. The Monitor’s First Amendment lawyer, Bill Chapman, is negotiating with the city in hopes of modifying the new policy and allowing more information to be released. “Clearly it’s not complying with the Right-To-Know Law,” Chapman said. City officials said the policy change was prompted by a letter from Keach’s attorney, Jim Rosenberg, who questioned the police department’s practice of disclosing information about arrests to the press and the public.