Wrongful arrest records to be destroyed under new law

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A new law in Rhode Island inspired by a mistaken arrest in California requires law enforcement agencies to destroy arrest records of people who were wrongfully arrested.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo held a signing ceremony Tuesday calling attention to the legislation and other bills she recently signed into law.

Known as an “auto-erase” law, it’s meant to protect the reputation of people mistakenly detained because they were thought to be a suspect.

Los Angeles resident Charles Belk is pushing for the bill nationwide. Police in Beverly Hills, California, detained him after a 2014 bank robbery. He was released hours later but found his arrest record online.

Belk attended Tuesday’s event at the Rhode Island State House.

He’s also successfully pushed for similar laws in Colorado, Illinois and North Carolina.

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