Court rulings top CFOIC’s 2021 list of Colorado transparency highlights and lowlights, with the most impactful paving the way for a state law change that lets governments publicly name just one finalist for chief executive positions like university president, city manager and school superintendent.
Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act
Bookmark it. Use it. Share it. For the first time, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition’s sunshine laws guide is online — searchable and indexed by topic — with links to pertinent statutes and case law.
Colorado’s database of certified and decertified law enforcement officers will remain confidential after a judge Tuesday determined that the state Attorney General’s office did not abuse its discretion under the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act (CCJRA) when it denied journalists’ requests for the records in 2019 and 2020.
A judge has ruled that Colorado’s Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) board is a criminal justice agency, possibly hampering legal efforts by two news organizations to obtain the state’s database of certified law enforcement officers.
A judge rejected a Denver news organization’s argument for publicly disclosing photos showing the tourniquet and plastic bed sheets allegedly used to kill an inmate at the federal Supermax prison in Florence last year.
The Colorado Supreme Court removed a frustrating barrier for some requesters of police internal affairs records, deciding that criminal justice agencies may not withhold completed IA files from the public simply because the requester has not referenced a “specific, identifiable incident” of alleged misconduct by an officer.
One change will impact the release of body-worn and dashboard camera footage, and another might help mitigate the loss of public information caused by the encryption of police radio transmissions. Two additional provisions address public access to records of completed police internal affairs investigations and lists of officers who have credibility issues.
State representatives inserted a provision addressing police radio encryption into a law-enforcement accountability measure that builds on the major police reform bill passed in 2020.
A lawsuit filed by The Gazette, reporter Chris Osher and The Invisible Institute, a Chicago-based journalism nonprofit, seeks the public disclosure of Colorado’s database of certified law enforcement officers.
The indisputably terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year 2020 ended with at least one bright spot in Colorado: On Dec. 17, the state Supreme Court formally adopted a new Rule of Criminal Procedure (Colo.R.Cr.P. 55.1) that sets both procedural and substantive standards for when a trial judge may “suppress” judicial records on file in criminal cases.