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High-Profile Arrest Prompts Calls For More Disclosure

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When Alexandria Chief of Police David Baker was arrested on a drunken driving charge in July, seven media organizations requested a copy of the arrest report. Arlington Police denied those requests.

Instead, Arlington Police released a two-paragraph summary that misidentified David Baker as Paul Baker and incorrectly stated that the incident took place in 1995.

Some police departments in Virginia choose to release the arrest reports while others--including Arlington and Alexandria--have a blanket policy of suppressing them. Since Baker's arrest, advocates for open government have renewed calls to strengthen the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Virginia legislator David Englin is crafting a bill that would require all police departments to release arrest documents upon request.

Michael Pope reports...


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