After police names disappear from court case search, Baltimore State's Attorney candidate posts database - Technical.ly Baltimore

Civic

Mar. 5, 2018 12:59 pm

After police names disappear from court case search, Baltimore State’s Attorney candidate posts database

Thiru Vignarajah's campaign made the #opendata move over the weekend amid calls for transparency.
Baltimore police.

Baltimore police.

(Image used under a Creative Commons license.)

The names of police officers were removed from Maryland’s searchable online court database last week. But over the weekend, names resurfaced on the campaign website of Baltimore City State’s Attorney candidate Thiru Vignarajah.

As the Baltimore Sun first reported, the names of police officers were removed from online records of cases in which they were witnesses from the Maryland Judiciary Case Search site on Thursday. The move originated with a rules committee decision in June as the state judiciary said it was seeking to “protect personal identifying information from potential misuse.” Police in Anne Arundel County acknowledged calling for a change, but only for first names to be removed.

As the Sun noted, the removal comes at a time when the case search feature is being used to track developments in corruption cases of police such as the Gun Trace Task Force case.

The removal of the names quickly drew criticism as an anti-transparency move, with the Washington Post editorial board writing that “the people who make the rules for Maryland’s courts decided that transparency and police accountability are no big deal.”

With those calls intensifying over the weekend, Vignarajah’s campaign sought to reopen the records. His campaign website now has a database that includes last names and first initials of officers, as well as case numbers and dates, from 2010-July 2017.

“Just as we will in office, we moved swiftly to create this community resource to promote transparency, rebuild trust, and to dispel the impression that public officials are hiding information about police involvement in specific cases,” his campaign wrote on Twitter.

Vignarajah is challenging incumbent Marilyn Mosby in June’s primary election. Attorney Ivan Bates is also running to be the city’s top prosecutor.

UPDATE (1:30 p.m.): The chair of the Maryland Judiciary’s rules committee issued a letter Monday calling the names’ disappearance an “honest mistake,” and called an emergency hearing on Tuesday to reconsider the change. “The language that was deleted can be restored on an emergency basis, if that is what the Court desires to do,” the letter states.

-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Entrepreneurs, think it’s too early to engage a legal partner? It’s not.

How law firm Nemphos Braue is guiding startups along the new business learning curve

This platform shares #opendata on the Baltimore County budget

SPONSORED

Baltimore

Get to know SmartLogic’s culture of plants, podcasts and productive client relationships

Hunt Valley, MD

LawIQ

SOFTWARE ENGINEER – FULL TIME OPPORTUNITY

Apply Now

North Bethesda, MD

1776

Campus Manager – 1776 @ Greencourt Innovation Center

Apply Now

North Bethesda, MD

1776

Campus Director – 1776 @ Greencourt Innovation Center

Apply Now

Maryland’s open data portal now has a Twitter handle

Maryland’s open data portal gets an update

Learn how tech is changing access to justice at this event

SPONSORED

Baltimore

Entrepreneurs, think it’s too early to engage a legal partner? It’s not.

Philadelphia OR Baltimore

Technically Media

Technical.ly Editorial Intern (Spring 2019)

Apply Now

Annapolis Junction, MD

Asymmetrik

FULL-STACK DEVELOPER

Apply Now

Annapolis Junction, MD

Asymmetrik

SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Baltimore

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!