Westport News files FOI appeal seeking redacted names arrested parties
WESTPORT — After withholding the names of two people arrested in a domestic violence incident, the Westport News has filed a Freedom of Information request seeking access to the names of those arrested.
An arrest log for the period of Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 blacked out the addresses and names of two people arrested on Sept. 30.
Westport police Lt. Jillian Cabana sent the arrest report to local press on Oct. 1 and noted the two redacted names were each charged with “Breach of Peace: Fight/Cause/Capable of Causing Minor Inj.”
The Westport News filed a Freedom of Information Act Request for the blacked out names on Oct. 8 and the following day, Cabana rejected release of the names.
“In this incident, the parties were both suspect, but also victims of a family violence crime as this was a dual arrest situation. Per C.G.S. 54-86e Confidentiality of Identities of Certain Victims, I am not permitted to release those names or addresses,” Cabana wrote to Vaughan on Oct. 9.
Consequently, on Oct. 18, reporter Sophie Vaughan filed an appeal with the state’s Freedom of Information Commission arguing, per Sec. 1-25 of the Freedom of Information Act, that names of persons arrested are public record and therefore should not be redacted.
“You can’t arrest people in secret,” Westport News Editor Jerrod Ferrari said.
The Westport News is awaiting notification from the Commission of a trial date for the appeal.
firstname.lastname@example.org; 203-842-2638; @SophieCVaughan1