7:36 PM EDT, March 22, 2013
If state police officers can leak details of the Newtown investigation at conventions, surely that information can be shared with the Connecticut public.
It has more of a right to know than out-of-state police chiefs do.
State police Col. Danny Stebbins reportedly told police chiefs at conferences in New Orleans and Foxwoods details of the Newtown mass shooting that had not been shared with Connecticut lawmakers or the public.
Three other state police officers directly involved in the Newtown investigation briefed a conference in Las Vegas organized by the California Homicide Investigators Association about lessons learned by first responders and other tactical issues.
Why privilege conventioneers with inside information but keep Connecticut residents in the dark?
Keeping Connecticut residents regularly updated makes sense in this high-interest case. The killer is both known and dead, so there would be no chance of compromising the investigation. Knowing more about how he carried out the massacre could help the legislature as it tries to shape public policy to avoid another Newtown.
Secrecy-obsessed prosecutors may seek to extend the 90-day court order sealing search warrant affidavits for the cars of shooter Adam Lanza and his mother, Nancy, as well as their Newtown home. Why should those affidavits be sealed? The Courant and several other media outlets are asking that they be made public.
Investigators expect that a final report on the Newtown shootings will not be finished until mid-June at the earliest. In the meantime, it shouldn't be too much to expect frequent public updates of the inquiry's progress.
This isn't information to be hoarded and shared only at the state police water cooler.
The longer information is kept under wraps, the more questions there will be about why. Most important, the details will inform the debate about gun control, mental health and violence in society.
There's no reason to fear an informed public.
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