Anne Galloway, VTDigger.org’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.
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 VtDigger.org, 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.