By Randy Singleton
As darkness fell on the grassy knoll behind Norfolk City Hall Monday evening (June 29), a small group of protesters issued a demand for sunlight on the police department’s use-of-force records. NPD officials noted that they destroyed use of force reports from 2010 to 2014 because the state’s record retention law allowed them to destroy the records.
NPD officials have refused to make the records public due to a clause in the Freedom of Information Act which allows officials to decline releasing “administrative investigations relating to allegations of wrongdoing by employees of a law-enforcement agency.”
Protester Jackie Hortan aka “Angie Day” of Underground 1865 told this reporter, “It is imperative that the Norfolk Police Department release these reports and be transparent with the citizens. If you want trust from the community, you have to give us a reason to trust you. By not releasing the reports, you subject the city to ‘no peace.’”
Demonstrators camped out over night on the lawn beside city hall. Norfolk mayor Kenny Alexander and several member of city council are in favor of having the reports released to the public.