Kansas City - KSHB
The Sunflower State has very little sunshine for law enforcement records. Most Kansans are unaware of their inability to see records collected about themselves or loved ones. They're either forced to spend thousands of dollars to open them or can't afford to even try. Three cases show what can happen when records are restricted in The Dark State.
A 41 Action News investigation profiled three families and shed light on what can happen when such records are restricted. The story on a woman who lost her sister and struggled to gain access to police records provided one example. After the initial story aired there was strong reaction through social media. More than 2,000 people shared the online story. It gained traction through major news organizations across the country. The story also put pressure on the state’s legislature to be more transparent. Several months later, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law a partial open records bill, which provides more information about the activities of law enforcement agencies. The law went into effect in July 2014.