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Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 12:17 am

Editor's Note 2/16/17

In Chicago and around the country, local governments are learning, slowly but surely, that information belongs to the people, not just to police and prosecutors, and that transparency builds trust. That’s why videos of police shootings and other incidents in recent years have been released to the public sooner rather than later. But not in Springfield. Here, the old habit of secrecy has kept video footage of the Jan. 23 police killing of a mentally ill man under wraps for nearly a month. State law requires that records be made public unless police can provide a good reason why release would interfere with an investigation, and so Illinois Times has gone to court to pry the information loose. Meanwhile, the city is not being forthright about the reasons for withholding the video. The city last week told Illinois Times that the video could not be released because the investigation was in its early stages and the officer who pulled the trigger hadn’t been interviewed by investigators. But Illinois State Police, who are in charge of the investigation, told us yes, the officer had been interviewed. This is not going well. Mayor Jim Langfelder and Police Chief Kenny Winslow, do the right thing. Release the tapes. –Fletcher Farrar, editor and publisher


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Wednesday Oct. 17th