Several of the 24 entries stood out as glaring illustrations of the barriers and attitudes journalists and members of the public sometimes encounter when they request government records or otherwise try to monitor what their public officials are doing.
Another court hearing, another ruling in favor of a news media coalition under Colorado’s new law governing the public release of police body-worn camera footage.
In a test of Colorado’s new law governing the public release of certain police body-worn and dashboard camera footage, a Weld County District Court judge ordered the immediate disclosure of video from a June incident in which a Greeley officer allegedly used a chokehold during an arrest.
A coalition of news organizations asked a Weld County District Court judge to modify or rescind his order barring the public release of body-worn and dashboard camera footage from a June incident in which a Greeley police officer allegedly used a chokehold during an arrest.
Reporters have been more likely to get a no-such-records-exist response since the Colorado legislature in 2016 adopted a simplified and expedited process for sealing the criminal records of defendants who are acquitted or have completed a diversion agreement or a deferred sentence, or their cases are dismissed.
It’s been on the books since the state legislature adopted the Colorado Open Records Act nearly a half-century ago: Anyone who “willfully and knowingly” violates the statute is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces up to 90 days in jail and a $100 fine. But on Aug. 9, when Senate Bill 17-040 goes into effect, the criminal penalty in CORA will disappear.