Michigan city won’t conceal police force policy

A police department in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been ordered to release its full policy on the use of force. Sault Ste. Marie failed to convince the state appeals court that portions should be concealed from the public. Judge Sima Patel says Michigan has a “strong public policy” favoring access to government information.

The dispute centers on a public records request by Amy Hjerstedt after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020. Sault Ste. Marie claimed releasing the full use-of-force policy could endanger officers and the public. But the appeals court noted that other police departments have posted their policies online without any evidence that officers have been harmed.

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