What Information Does a Police Department Publicize About Recent Homicides?


Quick Answer

Police departments publicize a number of documents in relation to recent homicides. These include photographs, 911 tapes and transcripts, and autopsy reports. The nature of information that can be publicized often depends on the state laws and specific circumstances of the case, indicates the OLR Research Report.

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Full Answer

Public access to crime scene photos in a homicide is sometimes restricted to designated people or close family members of the homicide victims. This is the case in several states, such as Georgia, Florida, California and Connecticut. In Texas, public access to crime scene photos is prohibited if they depict various types of mutilation, including dismemberment, according to the OLR Research Report. In North Dakota, photos of underage homicide victims are exempt from public disclosure.

Police departments in several states are allowed to publicize autopsy reports in recent homicide cases. In Connecticut, for example, the police are prohibited from denying access to any citizen with a genuine interest in the report. In New York, such access is granted to anyone deemed to have substantial interest in the report, pursuant to a court order. The police department in Iowa grants public access to information about the victim’s death to the general public, while the autopsy report is kept confidential. In Texas and Louisiana, autopsy reports are considered fully accessible to the public, but access to certain materials such as autopsy photographs and videos is restricted, explains the OLR Research Report.

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