Coalition News

FAC Wins Important Ruling for Police Transparency in California

The First Amendment Coalition won an important legal victory in its year-long effort to enforce California’s landmark police transparency law, with an appeals court saying the public has a right to see police misconduct records the state attorney general has on local officers across the state.  The Wednesday ruling means the state’s top law enforcement official, whose agency conducts outside reviews of local police shootings and complaints of officer misconduct, has the same disclosure obligations

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FAC, Committee to Protect Journalists ask San Francisco mayor to protect press freedoms

FAC and the Committee to Protect Journalists sent a letter to San Francisco Mayor London Breed today requesting a meeting about steps the city can take to ensure press freedom.  The letter asked Breed to address police officers’ use of five warrants to search the home, office and electronics of freelance journalist Bryan Carmody as part of an investigation into how he obtained a police report. Noting that the mayor in May said that the

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FAC Prevails in Lawsuit Against Bakersfield Over Open Meetings, Records Violations

The First Amendment Coalition has prevailed in a lawsuit against the city of Bakersfield, with a judge ruling that the city council violated open-government laws when it held three closed-door sessions to discuss city finances and then refused to release public records related to those meetings.  The ruling, a complete victory for FAC and Californians Aware, which sued to enforce California’s open-meetings and open-records laws, requires the city to turn over records, record any future

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FAC Obtains Clemency Records in 6 California Cases After Challenging Secret Docket

FAC’s year-long campaign for transparency in a key aspect of California’s criminal justice process has resulted in the release of previously sealed records in six clemency cases — records FAC is now making public. FAC obtained the records after securing a series of rulings from the California Supreme Court rejecting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts to maintain secrecy of files to seek clemency for twice-convicted felons. Despite the rulings, the governor’s office delayed the release of

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Four Open-Government Battles We Are Fighting and Why They Matter

Even from the perspective of the happy warriors here at FAC, it hasn’t been the best year for First Amendment rights and government transparency. In some ways, 2019 plumbed new lows, with governments at all levels continuing their assault on press freedoms, free speech, and government transparency. But we’re not letting the curtains come down on this year without a fight. Several of them, in fact. I want to tell you about just four key

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