At a glance: Media, law enforcement are often at odds

The secrecy surrounding an Oklahoma City police report about the Forest Park police chief is the latest instance where the media and law enforcement are at odds on what should be released to the public.
Oklahoman Modified: January 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm •  Published: January 25, 2013
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AT A GLANCE

Media-law enforcement clashes

The secrecy surrounding an Oklahoma City police report about the Forest Park police chief is the latest instance where the media and law enforcement are at odds on what should be released to the public.

The state Open Records Act requires law enforcement agencies to make public initial offense report information.

That act specifically requires police to release an arrestee description. The act does not say anything about a suspect's description.

Here are other examples of media-law enforcement clashes:

• The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation refused in November to disclose why a Seminole teenager was arrested after a fatal stabbing. The OSBI in December released a few more details, and OSBI Director Stan Florence promised to look into possible solutions to press concerns.

• Edmond police in 2011 refused to release the initial offense report over a gun-pointing accusation against a suspended assistant fire chief. Police later released information in a news release after The Oklahoman reported about the refusal. The assistant chief was later fired but never charged. His attorney said the gun actually was a toy.

• In 2008, Oklahoma City police took the then-state labor commissioner to the detox center after he was suspected of stealing a guitar at a party while intoxicated. Police did not fill out an incident report and refused to identify who was taken to the detox center.


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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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