But a year after House Bill 21-1250 was signed into law, reporters still can’t tune into Denver and Aurora police radio transmissions like they did before both agencies blocked public access — Denver in 2019 and Aurora three years earlier. Although each department has a written policy on radio access, neither has reached an agreement with any Denver metro news organizations.
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 state legislative committee killed a bill that would have barred Colorado from using nondisclosure agreements to keep state government employees from talking about “factual circumstances” of their jobs.
Journalists know they may find themselves in harm’s way when they cover volatile events such as the demonstrations we have seen in Denver over the past several days. But it is inexcusable – and a violation of the journalists’ constitutional rights – for law enforcement officers to single them out for attack simply for doing their jobs in chronicling these events.
News organizations in Colorado will soon get some extra legal firepower to fight wrongful denials of access to government records and proceedings.
Three journalist associations and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition are urging Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto Senate Bill 18-223, which would close public access to autopsy reports on minors.
The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission put off making a decision on proposed records access rules after hearing opposition from news media associations, citizens and the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.
Legislation designed to stop law enforcement agencies and other governments in Colorado from encrypting all of their dispatch radio communications died in a committee of the state legislature.