Transparency in government is essential to our democracy. The ACLU of Connecticut has worked to uphold this principle by opposing efforts to undermine Connecticut's Freedom of Information law and demanding government documents to contribute to public discourse. When an Enfield police officer was named in 11 excessive force lawsuits and the town tried to keep the lawsuit settlements secret, we took action before the state Freedom of Information (FOI) Commission and won. When the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs failed to respond adequately to our request for records about military sexual violence, we took them to court and won. By fighting for government transparency, we are working for a stronger democracy.

Since 2017, the ACLU of Connecticut has worked on Project Flashlight, a website publicly launched in 2022 that shines light on the ways Connecticut's more than 100 police agencies operate in secret. Information is power, and Project Flashlight works to get information to the people. The site’s first phase, in early 2022, included information about police contracts (collective bargaining agreements) and police commissions. In the coming years, this transparency website will add two more sections: use of force, which will include easy-to-navigate data about when police use force "likely to cause serious physical injury” (a definition that exists under state law); and suits and settlements, which will provide information about police who are sued for their conduct, and the outcome of those lawsuits.