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Judge: Arkansas State Police violated Freedom of Information Act

A recent ruling in the Sebastian County Circuit Court could affect the methods of the Arkansas State Police in releasing dash camera videos through Freedom of Information Act requests. Circuit Judge Stephen Tabor ruled Monday that an Arkansas State Police public information officer committed five civil violations of the Freedom of Information Act last year when he relied on a “blanket policy” and failed to give valid reasons for not releasing the videos. Bill Sadler, the state police public information officer, did not provide evidence there was an ongoing investigation in five of the six cases related to the FOIA requests for dash camera videos made by local attorney William Whitfield Hyman. Sadler’s “testimony revealed the only basis for failing to produce the requested videos was the blanket policy of the State Police that every investigation remains open pending adjudication,” Tabor wrote. The judge essentially agreed with the plaintiff, Hyman, that the dash camera videos had to …

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