Transparency News, 4/13/21


 April 13, 2021
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state & local news stories
Attorney General Mark Herring on Monday asked the town of Windsor’s police chief to provide personnel records and use-of-force data as outrage builds over the December traffic stop of a Black Army lieutenant. In a letter to Chief Rodney D. Riddle, a senior assistant attorney general wrote that the attorney general’s Office of Civil Rights has the authority under state law to investigate police conduct that might constitute “unlawful pattern or practice” and deprive people of their rights. Herring’s office requested the records “on a rolling basis.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
stories from around the country
The Michigan Supreme Court deadlocked Friday on whether records in possession of the University of Michigan library are considered public record regardless of what guarantees the university made regarding their release.  The 3-3 split affirms by default a lower court ruling that allowed an immigration lawyer to proceed with a public record request seeking documents donated to the library by a well-known anti-immigration activist. However, it is likely the university will invoke a privacy exemption under the current public records law, which will now be subject to arguments in Michigan's Court of Claims. The case arose when Virginia-based immigration attorney Hassan H. Ahmad submitted a public records request in 2016 for 25 boxes of documents donated by anti-immigration activist Dr. John Tanton in 2010 to UM's Bentley Historical Library. Tanton donated the documents on the condition that 10 of the 25 boxes remain under seal until 2035. Tanton died in Petoskey in July 2019. The university denied Ahmad's public records request through 2035 because of the privacy contract, arguing that the documents aren't subject to the public records law because they are still private.
The Detroit News