(AP) The Lawrence Police Department is fighting a newspaper’s efforts to disclose complaints filed against officers.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that since 2005, the department has investigated 163 complaints against Lawrence police officers. More than a quarter of those complaints led to disciplinary action, and seven officers were fired or resigned after those complaints.
But the department has rejected efforts by the newspaper to gain information about the officers and details of the complaints.
The city says a personnel exemption in the state’s open records act means the department doesn’t have to give investigative case files to the newspaper.
But First Amendment lawyer Mike Merriam told the Journal-World that what an officer does in public is not a personnel matter.