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Louisiana Lawmakers Want to Keep Crooked Cops Anonymous

Joseph C. Justice Jr, Thinkstock

A new bill could make it harder for citizens to obtain public records about law enforcement officials. Earlier this week, a piece of legislation was introduced aimed at creating a “veil of secrecy” for Louisiana police officers.

As it stands, the public has the right to look at any public document, unless, of course, it pertains to an ongoing investigation. This means the average citizen can review documents concerning local law enforcement officers, including any information detailing disciplinary action.

However, Republican Tim Burns’ new bill would permit local law enforcement agencies to “exclude from disclosure any employment-related information that will identify a particular employee,” which in turn would hide the faces of crooked cops in all public files.

New Orleans Inspector General Edouard Quatreveaux is not pleased by the possibility of this measure being approved and had this to say regarding its intentions:

“I am extremely concerned because this proposed amendment will be a de facto veil of secrecy over the entirety of law enforcement personnel files, including completed internal affairs investigations. Law enforcement personnel, including police officers, are public servants. They, and all other public servants, are subject to public scrutiny of their job performance. When an officer is investigated by his peers, that investigation (once closed) should be open to the public.”

The bill is scheduled for a debate sometime later today during a Governmental Affairs Committee meeting.

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