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Letter: Release the names of Weare officers

To Attorney General Joe Foster: On Aug. 14 or 15, Weare police officers engaged in a fatal shooting of a man (whose name and autopsy report have been released to the public) during a botched heroin buy sting operation at Lanctot’s Plaza in Weare. However, one month later, the people still do not have the names of the officer(s) involved.

It frustrates me when police departments and the attorney general’s office refuse to release the names of publicly employed officers involved in fatal shootings within a municipality during the scope of their work on behalf of residents whose taxes pay police officer and attorney general salaries. Police officers are public employees; they conduct their work on public land. Thus the actions officers take on behalf of residents as public employees, on or within the scope of publicly owned property, are a matter of public record.

That said, please release the name or names of the Weare police officer or officers who discharged their service weapons at Alex Cora DeJesus.

The attorney general has no business interfering in the people’s right to know regarding the identity of municipal police employees involved in the fatal shooting during the scope of their work on or within town or state property. The identity of officers involved in fatal “in-the-line-of-duty” shootings are a matter of public record per the U.S. and state constitutions. People have a right to know the identities of such officers at the outset of an incident as opposed to several months later.

Police departments and the attorney general’s office appear to have no problem releasing the names of officers involved in making enormous drug busts or other high-profile arrests. Why withhold the names of officers involved in fatal shootings?

SHERRY BUTT DUNHAM

Weare

Legacy Comments2

I figured the phrase "botched heroin-buy-sting operation" explained enough so the average reader understands the heroin buy is a subjective concept in this incident. Sting operations often skirt the legal line of "entrapment" because police officials arrange the illegal act in an effort to "catch" someone in an illegal act. Obviously, I am not a huge fan of "sting operations", especially those conducted by rural, unsophisticated, small-town police departments. Notwithstanding; the point of my letter, is that the names of the Weare Police Officers involved in the sting operation and / or shooting is a matter of public record by any and all interpretaions of New Hampshire's Right to Know Law.

That's only an 'ALLEGED heroin buy,' Sherry -- even under NORMAL circumstances, but we're talking about Weare PD here, after all, so...

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