RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – Earlier this week, the Virginia General Assembly reconvened for a Special Session.
One of the many bills introduced includes one from District 12 Delegate Chris Hurst which aims at requiring greater public access to certain criminal investigative records.
House Bill 5090 (HB5090) expands the scope of criminal investigative information and criminal investigative files that are made available to the public.
The bill clarifies the definition of an “ongoing case” and requires law enforcement agencies to release criminal investigative information to the public unless they can prove in a court of law that releasing that information would cause harm.
“Our criminal justice system must improve–it doesn’t work for everyone equally. Disproportionately, criminal investigations with Black and Latino victims are going unsolved. Data and best practice in law enforcement consistently shows that transparency with the public helps build trust with the community. The public access that HB 5090 provides will ensure greater accountability, get closure for victims and their families, and be a tangible step toward ensuring that law enforcement works on behalf of all citizens regardless of race.Del. Chris Hurst, Campaign Chair of the Democratic Caucus and Chief Patron of HB 5090