If the iPod is only the world’s most badass MP3 player then I don’t know if I’m really going to stand in line to buy it, I have a CD walkman and a burner already.
Update on our report re: City of Ferguson FOIA requests on Michael Brown surveillance video
Following my report yesterday on TheBlot.com and subsequent media pickups, it is my understanding that the City of Ferguson is now claiming a catalog was maintained of all oral requests made pursuant to Missouri’s Sunshine Law because the city’s computer systems were down for a brief period in mid-August (“many requests were made verbally due to the fact that the City’s website and email were down at several points during that week. City personnel cataloged all requests and treated them in the same manner as it would any Sunshine Law request,” City of Ferguson attorney Stephanie Karr as published by the Huffington Post).
In my open records request dated August 21, 2014, I specifically asked for, among other things, “logs created by the department in order to assist with the handling and fulfillment of open records requests in the above-captioned matter.” To date, the City of Ferguson has not provided me with such a log, though they now maintain one was kept for records requests made orally while their computer system was offline.
Earlier this morning, I sent an e-mail to City of Ferguson attorney Stephanie Karr inquiring as to why this log, the existence of which has now been publicly disclosed, was not included in my request, even though the request specifically covered it. I look forward to receiving both the catalog of oral requests made to the city and an explanation as to why it was not included in the original stack of records produced to me.
In addition, we would like to note that in her statement to the Huffington Post on Saturday, Ms. Karr acknowledged that very few journalists broadly requested any records pertaining to Michael Brown that possibly would have included the surveillance video released by police on August 15. While we agree that the request made by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter was broad and thus may have included the video (though it did not specify it), we disagree with Ms. Karr’s assertion that a similar request made by Judicial Watch also broadly covered the video. Judicial Watch requested “log entries” and while they did indeed request “relevant records,” those records were relevant only to police logs, as plainly stated in their request and the Missouri state law that was further cited.
On August 15, Chief Thomas Jackson asserted that “a lot” of news organizations submitted “FOIA” requests for the surveillance video, a claim that he repeated multiple times. As the documents released to us show, no journalist, news organization or journalist specifically requested the surveillance video — contradicting Chief Jackson’s claim that “a lot” of reporters “had asked for it.”
We absolutely stand by our report published on Friday, and we will work diligently to include any pertinent updates that arise from this matter.
A review of more than 200 documents pertaining to open records requests made by members of the public — including news organizations and individual journalists — revealed police were not specifically requested to release a copy of surveillance footage purporting to show 17-year-old Michael Brown engaged in a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store hours before he was shot on August 9, 2014.
At a press conference on August 15, 2014, Ferguson City Police Department Chief Thomas Jackson told reporters that his agency was forced to release a copy of the surveillance footage because members of the media had filed open records requests — incorrectly referred to by the police chief as “FOI requests” — for a copy of the tape.
"We’ve had this tape for a while, and we had to diligently review the information that was in the tape, determine if there was any other reason to keep it," Jackson told reporters at the press briefing. "We got a lot of Freedom of Information requests for this tape, and at some point it was just determined we had to release it. We didn’t have good cause, any other reason not to release it under FOI."
However, a review of open records requests submitted to the police department and the City of Ferguson prior to the release of the tape revealed no individual, journalist or news organization specifically requested a copy of the surveillance footage before the Ferguson Police Department released it to journalists on August 15.
Though officials have long sought to keep information about the terrorism database a secret under the notion that disclosure could ‘harm national security,’ the reality is far more depressing: The federal government simply does not want the public to know about the broad, sweeping power it has granted itself over the past decade under the stale guise of combatting ‘terrorism.’