Posts Tagged ‘police documents’

http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/richmond-recovers-police-data-flash-drive/article_638f9228-b1c1-11e2-820c-001a4bcf6878.html

The Richmond Police have reportedly received the missing Police Department flash drive from a 3rd party (neither Mo Karnage of the Wingnut nor Nathan Cox of Copblock).  See link above for full news report.

The flash drive was reportedly found on the ground near a trashcan. The cop Martin Harrison who’s flash drive it was had testified in court that he never took the flash drive from police headquarters- yet said there were no reported intruders during the few days when the flash drive went missing. And yet the flash drive was found outside.

Thanks to Tom Roberts and Andrew Bodoh- the attorney’s representing in this case. www.robertslaw.org to find out more about them and make a donation to their legal fund.

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You might remember from a couple of years ago that the Wingnut Anarchist Collective and the Richmond Police Department had a tiff regarding some files from the RPD’s General Orders that the Wingnut got a hold of using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). More about that here ( http://wingnutrva.org/2011/01/04/foiad-again/ )

And after the police were forced to drop their case before it even hit the courts, they refused to comply to any FOIA requests coming from members of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective. We didn’t have the legal resources to take them to court over their violation of the FOIA laws. Instead we made multiple online asks for the info if anyone else already had a copy or was able to get one. (http://wingnutrva.org/2012/04/28/rpd-refuses-to-cooperate-with-foia-we-need-these-files-please-help/ ).

Well, someone finally came through, and an anonymous source gave people access to the rest of the General Orders from the RPD, as well as some other files. Since these files regard the rules the police must follow, and since tax money goes to pay for the police, we figure this is public information, and we are re-posting links to it here. We hope it finds you well and helps you protect yourself and your legal rights.

We haven’t actually had a chance to go through these files ourselves, so if you find something particularly interesting or useful, drop us a line to let us know! wingnut_collective @ yahoo.com We;d also love to hear from copwatchers, lawyers, and anyone who finds this information useful, share your stories!

Here are links to some of the new info out there on the web, not sure how long it will stay on those websites, so download your own copy if you are interested!

http://filebin.net/0cupaguxql

http://filebin.net/8supe72vg8

Today we received an interesting package from the City of Richmond, hand delivered to our door.

The documents within informed us about a court case in the works (“The Chief of Police Bryan Norwood and The City of Richmond v. Mo Karn”), and include an:

“Emergency Motion for Protective Order and to Compel the Return of Tactical Information and to Prevent the Disclosure of Said Information on behalf of Plaintiffs Chief of Police Bryan Norwood and The City of Richmond”

You can see the documents here (they are almost identical):

What it boils down to is they’re trying to sue Mo Karn, saying some of the police documents we received via the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) are documents they shouldn’t have sent us, specifically ones including “tactical plans”. They are going to attempt to get an order “(A) compelling the return of certain exempt information, (B) preventing the disclosure of this information to the general public, (C) enjoining the defendant from publicizing this information, and (D) granting such other relief as the Court deems appropriate.”

The first reason stated for this in the Emergency Motion is the most obvious:

“1. Defendant Mo Karn is a known and admitted anarchist. See generally http://anarchymo.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/foia-rocks

It goes on to detail most of the mundanely routine email conversation between Mo and the Angela Harrison (Associate General Counsel, although titled in the case documents as a “Program Manager”) of the RPD, to whom our FOIA request was directed. When she mentioned that certain documents included tactical plans, Mo stated very clearly, “I understand that tactical plans may not be subject to FOIA. However if any of the manuals and orders I have requested include tactical plans I would expect that tactical plans sections to be blacked out, but the non-tactical information surrounding them in the manual to still be included.”

In the official response to the FOIA request, the bit about redacting information goes thusly: “in order to completely and properly respond without negatively impacting public safety and our intense operational responsibilities, the Department is entitled to and elects to utilize seven additional work days to respond”.

Well, despite addressing those concerns and the seven days the RPD had to go over the documents, apparently we got some information they thought we shouldn’t have anyway. The Program Manager’s “production of these documents exceeded the authority granted to her,” and she sent them “without first obtaining permission to do so from Chief Norwood.”

Unfortunately that means not shit to us. If the RPD feels they shouldn’t have sent out these documents, maybe they shouldn’t have done so. The idea that they can sue anybody for having information that they gave us is utterly ridiculous.

That said, the list of documents that the RPD feels you shouldn’t read include the following:

Sadly, we already uploaded ALL of these ostensibly public documents (linked above) prior to learning about their illicit nature. We no longer have the ability to remove them from the internet, or the public domain. We encourage you to look through these documents and more on our Richmond Police Department Documents page.

For our part we’re seeking legal counsel on the issue. If it ever goes to court we promise you’ll hear about it.

Just a note- if you are interested in reading any sections of the Richmond Police Department documents that Richmond Copwatch has gotten copies of and you don’t want to print them yourself or read them on a computer, you can come by the Wingnut during Open Hours to read our copy.
These documents are not available for checkout, but one of our couches will be available for sitting on. Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-9pm

Here are links to PDFs of various Manuals, General Orders, and Protocols of the Richmond Police Department. You can check them out for a better understanding of what the police are and are not supposed to be doing. This can help with fully understanding your rights, as well as when engaged in activities such as copwatching. It is important for citizens to know when cops are breaking their own rules so we can hold them accountable.

We are also posting this information as a permanent resource page at the top of our blog.

The Wingnut used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get these documents from the Richmond Police Department. We scanned all 595 pages (at no small cost to our sanity), and are posting them online to save others the time and money (about 82 dollars in this case) required to get the documents. However, if you find this information to be useful, please feel free to make a donation to the Wingnut. We have a paypal button on this blog, and can also accept checks written to Moriah Karn and mailed to 2005 Barton Avenue Richmond, Virginia 23222 or cash donations in person.

The Freedom of Information Act is a policy which is Federal, but also exists in most states and localities. It means that if you can figure out what department to ask for information from, you can get the government to give you information not otherwise available. From inter-office emails, to lab reports, to manuals, or even one’s own FBI files, FOIA is a very useful tool for everyone.

This website has information about the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and who at the City of Richmond to contact:
http://www.richmondgov.com/PublicUtilities/FOIA.aspx

Depending on the agency you are requesting information from, there will be different fees associated with your FOIA request. (more…)