Not only were the students already entitled to the information under the state’s public records law, but a Circuit Court judge and the Hawaii Supreme Court would later rule that the public has a “fundamental” right to know that police power is being kept in check.
The police prevailed, though, after legislators changed the law, shielding police from open records requirements. That’s kept situations like this out of the public eye:
Since the “police power” is synonymous with the “state power,” (at least on the streets, on a daily basis), it would of course be quite detrimental to the interests of the state to limit that power in any way. Which is why the Hawaiian government moved specifically to make sure that the courts could not limit that power.
I’m not sure why this should surprise anybody, especially anybody at Reason. Nor do I think it actually does. Bottom line: The state is force. Which is why the state will not permit that force to be significantly mitigated in any way.
Do you honestly think the police state is going to let the police be “kept in check?”