NORFOLK, Va. — Days of calls from protesters have prompted Norfolk city officials to take a deeper look into releasing use of force police reports at a more frequent rate.
Norfolk City Manager Dr. Chip Flier issued a statement on Thursday promising to take steps toward that change.
This follows a days-long sit-in dozens of protesters initiated at Norfolk City Hall that's currently on day four.
Demonstrators are camped out there demanding that the police department release their use of force reports from the past 10 years. This comes after a Virginian-Pilot article published an article about the lack of disclosure from the police specifically on these reports.
Norfolk city leaders said they are working to come up with a solid plan on publishing more detailed use of force information. The protesters have specifically demanded for not only the release of those reports but the names of the officers involved in the cases.
13News Now spoke to Police Chief Larry Boone who said he doesn't mind releasing the reports, most of which are tame, according to him.
"I have no problem providing that information, I welcome it and think it's necessary," Boone stated. "Whether it’s this community over here, this community over here, black, white, male or female, let’s dive in and see what the information says.”
Dr. Flier echoed a similar message on Thursday with the following statement:
“I have reviewed how we release use of force data. Releasing this data once a year in the annual report is inadequate. We can and should do better. I am prepared, at Council’s direction, to work with staff and an independent third party to improve the way we report use of force data. Improvements include frequency, level of detail and accessibility. Our path forward will improve transparency while withholding from public release information that is legally protected.”
Norfolk City Council will be meeting on July 14 to discuss police report transparency.