Transparency, Wichita-style

Wichita, KS police released this "public incident report" documenting the circumstances under which an officer shot a member of the public, but not before helpfully blacking out nearly every single word on all five pages of it.

Everything else, including officers' statements and those from the three witnesses have been redacted. What was released was common knowledge, as the Wichita Eagle had been covering the case since the night it happened. Officers responded to a call reporting a "disturbance involving a knife." 23-year-old John Quintero was shot by officers after he became "belligerent" and "reached for his waistband." No weapon was found on Quintero.

Now, there may be a good reason this was all redacted. Or if not a good reason, than at least the usual reason police departments withhold information: the case is still under investigation. But the Wichita PD hasn't offered any comment on its decision to redact nearly everything in this report. One wonders why it even bothered releasing it at all. It's one thing to be transparent. It's quite another to make meaningless gestures like this in the letter of open records laws, while avoiding the spirit of them entirely.

Wichita Police Respond To Request For Shooting Incident Details With A Handful Of Fully-Redacted Pages [Tim Cushing/Techdirt]