PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE) – The ACLU is going after the Pawtucket Police Department, suing them for withholding records of officer misconduct.
They say the department’s failure to release certain reports is in clear violation of state law.
They’re also putting blame on the Attorney General.
The ACLU believes the Pawtucket Police Department and other departments are shielding themselves from public scrutiny by not releasing these records.
They say Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is protecting those police departments rather than fighting this.
In a case they say has important ramifications the way the public monitors law enforcement, the ACLU announced it’s suing the department.
The lawsuit was filed by Dimitri Lyssikatos, who was turned down when he requested records from the Pawtucket Police Department.
According to the Rhode Island Accountability Project, several local departments are in violation of the open records act, including Pawtucket.
Pawtucket claims they only have to hand over records generated by citizens complaints, not ones initiated internally.
The lawsuit also points fingers at Attorney General Peter Kilmartin for allowing it to happen.
Mayor don grebien's spokesperson said in part, “The city continues to be open and transparent in its handling of requests and complaints
while balancing the rights of victims families and personnel.”
The Attorney General’s statement said, “The ACLU ignores the long history that Attorney General Kilmartin has dedicated to transparency and open government. The office has filed more open government lawsuits against public bodies during this administration than during the previous 12 years combined. The ACLU once again is mixing a heavy dose of innuendo with the law in an attempt to reach a self-serving political outcome. The ACLU’s interpretation of the law is not always correct.”