The killing, Rangely’s first officer-involved homicide in nearly 40 years, was a story town officials didn’t want told. It wasn’t mentioned at the town council meeting the next day. The town manager and the mayor made no public statements about the shooting, and they ignored the Herald Times’ questions in the aftermath about the job status of Kinney and the chief.
Footage from police body-worn cameras clearly fits the definition of criminal justice records in one of Colorado’s freedom-of-information laws: All materials, including recordings, “made, maintained, or kept” by criminal justice agencies. But some district attorneys are relying on more than the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act to determine whether and when body camera video should be disclosed to the public.
A free and independent press is fundamental — it is essential — to American democracy at all levels. But knowing that is precisely why Coloradans must begin a conversation about alternative ways to fund local journalism — even ways that involve public dollars.
Actual malice. Autopsy reports. The Columbine killers’ “basement tapes.” Stapleton Development Corp. records. The governor’s cellphone bills. The meetings and records of a county retirement board. Tom Kelley waged court battles over these issues and many more as an attorney for The Denver Post, other news organizations and the Colorado Press Association, steadfastly and expertly defending the public’s right to know and the journalist’s right to report.
A case before the Colorado Court of Appeals focuses on what city councils and other government boards must tell the public before they meet in private.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition joined Colorado Public Radio and a UCLA law professor in objecting to the proposed closure of court proceedings and records in a federal lawsuit brought against the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region.
A Paonia environmental activist who helped persuade state lawmakers to pass an anti-SLAPP law during this year’s legislative session won a Colorado Court of Appeals victory Thursday against the oil and gas company that sued him for libel.
Gov. Jared Polis signed into law a bill to protect Coloradans from meritless lawsuits that target free expression, and he signed another measure that starts a process for incorporating media literacy into state education standards.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition joined other organizations in urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit to affirm the public’s First Amendment right to record police.