THE DARK STATE: Kansas law allows law enforcement to keep records sealed

You can watch an extended-length documentary and read more about The Dark State investigation at

In a state that prides itself on its rich history of being a ‘free state,’ a 41 Action News investigation reveals law enforcement in the state of Kansas operate in a veil of secrecy unlike any other state due to their ability to keep records of their investigations and warrants sealed.

Many Kansans, upon finding themselves needing to see records collected about themselves or loved ones, are surprised to find out they will have to spend thousands of dollars paying attorneys to navigate the court system to see records readily available and free in every state but Kansas. This happens in spite of the fact these records are collected for and paid for by Kansas taxpayers.

The 41 Action News investigators took an in-depth look at three situations that illuminate how, without having these records open, law enforcement can operate without fear that their actions will be scrutinized or challenged.


Reporters | Melissa Yeager & Karen Dillon

Videographer and Video Editing | Rex Harris

Design | Hilary Hedges

Interactive Design | Daniel Potthast

Editors | Melissa Greenstein & Joe Ruiz

Print this article Back to Top