Archive for Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DA declines opinion on public suicide names

October 8, 2014

— A Kansas district attorney's office has declined to issue an opinion on whether a local police department is violating the state's open records law by refusing to release the names of people who kill themselves in public.

The Topeka Police Department says the public doesn't need to know the identities of people like a woman who stepped in front of a train earlier this year, or a man who ran in front of a semitrailer on Interstate 70. The Shawnee County District Attorney's Office says that explanation is good enough to exempt the information under the Kansas Open Records Act.

Assistant Shawnee County District Attorney Todd Hiatt tells The Topeka Capital-Journal that if media outlets disagree with the policy, they are free to file a lawsuit to challenge it.

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