Help OpenOversightVA FOIA the Police

Help us keep fighting for police transparency in Virginia through public records access by contributing what you can.

What We Are: is a newly-founded Virginia statewide police transparency database run entirely by volunteers who witnessed police brutality against civilians en masse during the George Floyd Uprising in Richmond, VA. Inspired by Lucy Parsons Labs' project in Chicago, IL, OpenJustice Baltimore, and a shared spreadsheet created by activists in PDX, we created our own independent website for Virginia from our comrades' codebase and began our own data collection. It started with Richmond, then in October expanded it statewide. The site launched in October and is evolving every day.

Cool Things We've Done:

  • Added Virginia police officer facial recognition search to our website
  • Added identify by badge number feature
  • Added over 1,000 officer photos
  • Added over 25,000 officer names
  • Started tracking decertified officers
  • Added over 70 police policy manuals totaling tens of thousands of pages to our website
  • Updated our rosters for over 20 of our over 200 Virginia law enforcement agencies more than once in the past six months

To date, we've obtained and published data on over 25,000 named police officers and over 70 full Virginia local Police and Sheriff's Office Policy & General Order Manuals obtained through Virginia Freedom of Information Act requests. We've also indexed over 100 police misconduct allegations, shootings, or incidents, and done extensive research to identify the names of the officers who committed some of these acts.

We believe these records should be easily accessible to the public for free.

The Ask

  • While the vast majority of departments complete our requests free of charge, some of them do opt to charge us fees.
  • If we can't stay on top of those fees, we can't keep our data current, and if we can't keep our data current, our project can't continue to expand:

If we have outstanding fees, they can opt to refuse our requests. Help us get some breathing room to stay ahead of the police:

  • $12 will clear our bill with a small-town sheriff's office
  • $150 will clear our bill with the Richmond Police
  • $50 will clear our bill with Fairfax County Police
  • $70 will pay for us to file a writ of mandamus in General District Court against a police department that violates FOIA

What We'd Spend Our Money On:

  • Chesterfield County redacted 521 names of its police officers in a recent roster we requested, citing an undercover exemption. We believe this to be a violation of FOIA and would like to be able to pursue lawsuits in court should our petitions for writ of mandamus to comply be denied in General District Court.
  • At a cost of over $1 a page, the Richmond Police has opted to charge us fees of over $140 for a copy of its Crowd Management Manual, TASER policy, redacted Use of Force Policy, OC Spray Policy, and two rosters of its employees and their salaries. We must remit this payment to their General Counsel before RPD will fill any further requests.
  • The Richmond City Sheriff's Office charged us over $100 for a copy of its (redacted) roster.
  • We will be doing our annual reviews in August and will need to pay our outstanding fees from the previous year.

Help us keep fighting for police transparency in Virginia through public records access by contributing what you can.

Donations (5)

  • Charlotte Drummond
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
  • Cullen McCarthy
    • $10 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 8 mos
  • Anthony Haynes
    • $75 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 8 mos

Fundraising team (2)

OpenOversightVA Research Team
Richmond, VA
Banana Kolb
Team member
This team raised $285 from 5 other donations.

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