Is Tucson Sheriff Dupnik covering something up? 

The Arizona Republic asked Tucson's sheriff for an array of basic documents pertaining to the would be assassin Jared Lee Long:

Sheriff's Department and community-college officials in Pima County are refusing to release a wide range of public documents about the man charged in Saturday's shooting rampage that left six dead and more than a dozen wounded.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department and Pima Community College have declined to release documents that could shed light on run-ins they had with 22-year-old Jared Loughner in the months prior to the shooting.

The Arizona Public Records Law requires that records be "open to inspection by any person at all times" unless officials can prove releasing the information would violate rights of privacy or confidentiality or otherwise harm the best interests of the state.

The Arizona Republic requested that records, including incident reports on campus and calls for dispatch of deputies to Loughner's home, be released under the law. Such reports are often released as a matter of course in criminal cases.

Note that Tucson's sheriff Clarence Dupnik rocketed to national prominence following the shooting by going on the air and blaming political rhetoric and political figures such as Rush Limbaugh for playing a role in the killings.

While that may play well on MSNBC, I wonder how much of the Sherriff's outspokeness was a canny way for him to distract people from examining how the the sherriff's office performed. We now know that the Sheriff's office had visited Loughner "on more than one occaision."

If Dupnik isn't releasing documents and keeps stonewalling without a very good excuse coming to light, I think it's a pretty legitimate concern that the sheriff might be hiding something.

 

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Mark Hemingway

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