WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Citing Policy, Alexandria Police Won't Release Incident Reports

Play associated audio

The Alexandria Police Department is declining to release the incident report from a fatal police-involved shooting.

A press release from the police department says officers responded to a domestic call Monday and encountered a suspect with a weapon. But police in Alexandria, Va., are refusing to provide further details about the incident.

"It doesn't matter what type of case, as a policy we don't release incident reports," said Alexandria Police Department spokesperson Ashley Hildebrandt.

In most states, releasing the incident report would be a matter of routine — a document that outlines what happened and why. The reports let the public know how law enforcement agencies act on their behalf.

But not in Virginia, where police operate in secret.

"Any time you have a situation in which there is a police-involved shooting or kind of any activity involving the police, the department ought to do its best to put the public in the best position to know what s been going on and what's happened," says Claire Gastañaga, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Arlington police officials even charge for staff time associated for creating a six-line summary of an incident report they are shielding from public scrutiny.

"Keeping stuff secret in that circumstance doesn't serve anybody well. It doesn't serve the police department well, and it certainly doesn't serve the community well," Gastañaga said.

Last year, the Center for Public Integrity graded each of the 50 states on government accountability, transparency and corruption. Virginia got an F.

NPR

When Caravaggio Plays Quevedo In Tennis, The Court Becomes A Sonnet

"It's a little space, well-measured and precise, in which you have to keep the ball bouncing," says Álvaro Enrigue. His book, Sudden Death, pits the Italian painter against the Spanish poet.
WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

NPR

Password Security Is So Bad, President Obama Weighs In

In unveiling a sweeping plan to fund and revamp cybersecurity, the president asks citizens to consider using extra layers of security besides the password.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.