Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

The People of Spokane vs. Law Enforcement Abuse, Impunity, Corruption, and Cover-up

We the people…..

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 13, 2007

The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created. The public records subdivision of this chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy. (RCW 42.17.251 — Washington State Public Disclosure Act)

see http://www.appeal-law.com/appeals/gullen.html

First, we examine whether Guillen’s disclosure claims pertaining to accident reports are resolvable under Washington law.(4) In November 1972, Washington voters approved Initiative Measure No. 276, a ‘strongly worded mandate for broad disclosure of public records.’ Spokane Police Guild v. Liquor Control Bd., 112 Wn.2d 30, 33-36, 769 P.2d 283 (1989). See Laws of 1973, ch.1.

‘Public record’ includes ‘any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics.’ RCW 42.17.020(36).

While ‘mindful of the right of individuals to privacy and of the desirability of the efficient administration of government, full access to information concerning the conduct of government on every level must be assured as a fundamental and necessary precondition to the sound governance of a free society.’ RCW 42.17.010(11). In 1992, the following public policy statement was added to the PDA’s ‘Public Records’ section:

The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them.

The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created. The public records subdivision of this chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy. RCW 42.17.251.

Thus, as we have previously noted, the PDA’s intent was nothing less than the preservation of the most central tenets of representative government, namely, the sovereignty of the people and the accountability to the people of public officials and institutions. RCW 42.17.251. Without tools such as the Public Records Act, government of the people, by the people, for the people, risks becoming government of the people, by the bureaucrats, for the special interests. In the famous words of James Madison, ‘A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both.’ Letter to W.T. Barry, Aug. 4, 1822, 9 The Writings of James Madison 103 (Gaillard Hunt, ed. 1910). Progressive Animal Welfare Soc’y v. Univ. of Wash., 125 Wn.2d 243, 251, 884 P.2d 592 (1994).

In any public disclosure dispute, the government bears the burden ‘to establish that refusal to permit public inspection and copying is in accordance with a statute that exempts or prohibits disclosure in whole or in part of specific information or records.’ RCW 42.17.340(1).

http://www.appeal-law.com/appeals/gullen.html

**********************

Cases and Research on Public Disclosure in Washington State

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: