SWAT Teams Claim ‘Corporate’ Exemption From Public Scrutiny

Moorbey'z Blog

ACLU hits brick wall after issuing public records requests for information about deadly force, incident reports, and more.

– Sarah Lazare, staff writer

altSWAT Team (Photo: Oregon Department of Transportation / Flickr Creative Commons)Operators of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams comprised of tax payer-funded police and sheriffs in Massachusetts claim they are immune to public records requests about deadly force, incident reports, and more because they are private “corporations.”

In addition to SWAT teams run by individual towns, many of these military-style domestic policing units in Massachusetts are operated by regional “law enforcement councils,” which are bankrolled by tax-payer money and comprised of publicly-funded police and sheriffs. According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, approximately 240 of the 351 police departments in Massachusetts belong to these LECs.

Some of these LECs have become incorporated with 501(c)(3) status—a classification they say makes them exempt from…

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