TBI officer-involved fatal shooting investigations could soon be made public

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A bill that would allow the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations to release reports into officer-involved fatal shootings is awaiting the signature of Gov. Bill Haslam.

The Tennessee General Assembly approved the bill.

Tennessee law currently exempts TBI investigations into such shootings from public disclosure.

Some records, such in the Darrius Stewart case, have been released with a court order.

The bill was sponsored by by Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris, D-Memphis, and Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis.

“I would submit that there is no greater government action than the taking of a life and no more legitimate public interest in government-produced information,” Sen. Lee Harris said. “We shouldn’t keep these records confidential from the public after the investigation and prosecution are concluded.”

Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, stated, “We need to make this information public to exonerate law enforcement officers who are at times wrongfully accused of wrongdoing, and we need to make this information public when there is wrongdoing so the public will have confidence in our law enforcement.”

WREG has been fighting for release of documents after several officer-involved fatal shootings in Shelby County.

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