Anne Galloway speaks on VPR

Anne Galloway, editor of

Anne Galloway,’s editor in chief spoke on Vermont Public Radio’s Vermont Edition on Nov. 10 regarding Windsor Superior Court Judge Katherine Hayes’ Nov. 9 ruling ordering the Hartford Police Department to release some of its police records related to the detainment and pepper-spraying of Wilder resident, Wayne Burwell.

Listen to the podcast.

Galloway sued the town for the records, which are expected to shed some light on what occurred on the night of May 29, 2010.

The ACLU is representing Galloway in the case. Read the July 30, 2010 court filing (PDF).

Allen Gilbert, executive director of the Vermont Chapter of the ACLU, said of the case in a press release:

The superior court has ordered the Hartford Police Department to release most of the records sought by journalist Anne Galloway regarding a May incident in which the police entered an area man’s home and seized him in the apparent belief that he was a burglar. The man, an African-American, turned out to be the owner and resident of the home.

Galloway, editor of the investigative news Web site, requested records about the incident under Vermont’s public records law in July. The town refused to turn over any information about what happened, arguing that the public records law permits police to keep records relating to their work secret.

On Monday, the Windsor Unit of the Vermont Superior Court rejected the town’s argument, and ordered it to disclose records that were produced or acquired after the police decided not to charge the homeowner with any crime. The court also permitted the parties to request a further evidentiary hearing to sort out which records were created at what point in the incident. In the event that a hearing is scheduled, the court will require the town to submit a list of all the records that it possesses relating to the incident.

Read an op-ed by Gilbert, “No one polices the police in Vermont.”


  1. Theodore A. Hoppe :

    I am writing to express support in your fight to have documents released in the Wayne Burwell case. The actions of police statewide continues to create concerns. The Burwell case raised too many red-flags, and needs of to exposed for what it is, an attempt to cover up bad policing:
    When does the police have the right to care people into “temporary custody” without arresting them? Did police use mace? When can the police handcuff people they do not arrest?
    Burwell is luck not to have been tasered, which has occurred to others who experience medical difficulties during police interactions. The fact that the State Police is investigating this matter does not mean the public does not have a right to know the truth.

    Good luck with your efforts.

  2. timothy k price :

    The U.S. Supreme Court “election” of G.W. Bush in 2000 brought us 9/11, the Patriot Act, “War on Terror, and delivers increasing “security” through imposed authority over diminishing liberty. But financial terrorists, unopposed, move our jobs overseas, steal our finances, then foreclose on our homes. The corporate state is paid by them, believes that it works for them and not the people. So where is the Vermont court’s allegiance? Does it defend the people’s rights? We must strengthen the forces of liberty in order to regain our “democratic” republic by every means left to us. I hope that our court listens to its better angels.

  3. Christian Noll :

    I’m glad someone finally got the lead out. This is an old case and one of many cases unfortunately.

    Since we have “Zero Transparency Laws” in our state of Vermont it’s legal for the police to cover up all misconduct.
    Police Misconduct is something I’ve been studying quite a bit over the years. I feel I could give an hour seminar on what police misconduct is, how and why the different types of police misconduct flourish in our state compared to other states.

    It is unfortunate that my research has produced some unsavory discoveries in way of criminal justice statistics for Vermont.

    Vermont has the highest police misconduct rate IN THE NATION per capita of police officers. That’s right, in the nation. We’re three and a half times the national average.
    You wouldn’t think that our state would rank so high on such a sad statistic.

    My name is Christian Noll and I self published a book titled Vermont C.O. The Truth of Attrition ISBN9780615267548 describing what hundred of vermonters experience every year.
    I’ll be revising this publication replacing my pen name with my real name.

    I think Anne Galloway should address the “Zero Transparency Laws” aspect of our state’s legislation. Most specifically V.S.A. 317 (c) and the power to protect repete abuses of public power by placing individuals under “investigation.”

    Someone needs to step up.

    Christian Noll
    BS/MS criminal justice

  4. walter carpenter :

    I hope Anne’s suit will work, not only for Burwell, but for all the others as well. All too often, the cops in these small towns think they are the law unto themselves, and can get away with it because the town leaders dare not say that their police department is wrong. In many cases, they are encouraged to do it. While I have not experienced this too much in Vermont, I have been up against it in other states. Good luck.

  5. I haven’t listen yet but way to go Anne.

    When I say “Its an old case” what I mean is; in the way of scanning thousands of police misconduct reports a month, much has happened since then. There have been other cases and misconduct unfortunately.

    We need more coverage on this.

  6. Christian Noll :

    Its my understanding that Mr. Burwell was in his upstaires bathroom, naked and also diabetic at the time the police apprehended him. Aren’t the police suppses to ask about “Any medical conditions” prior to cuffing someone, let alone macing them?

    You’re darn right the town doesn’t want to release the audio tapes recorded from the responding officers. It would tell everything including what the officers said “Under their breath” while respoding to their call. Preventing this crucial evidence from being released into the public will also (in the state’s eyes) protect the guity parties from the humility that anyone else might expect should they commit such violations.

    If you’re a public official that excercises police powers, then you’re under the same scrutiny (if not more) than the public. You’re electronic or digital recording devices aren’t just there for you to incriminate peaceful, law abiding tax payers, but for us (the public) to make sure you’re doing your job.

    Don’t want to be so scrutinized? Stay out of the public sector.

    V.S.A. 317 (c) needs to be changed. You can’t allow the state to just place someone under the word “investigation” to impead justice or target innocent civilians. So anyone can say that someone is under “investigation” then that’s it. The public won’t know the truth. Who are we protecting here?

    Adolf Heichman would have loved Vermont.



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