BLM comms (Austin Police Department)

Emma North-Best filed this request with the Austin Police Department of Austin, TX .
Tracking #

R039323-060920

Multi Request BLM comms
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Emma North-Best


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Emails, letters, and memos to or from police/law enforcement unions, the National Guard, or federal officials between May 1, 2020 and the present.

I also request copies of emails containing any of the following: "protest", "protests", "Black Lives Matter", "BLM", "riot", "riots", "antifa", "antifascist", "anti-fascist", or "militia".

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers in outlets such as Gizmodo, MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, Unicorn Riot, and The Outline, among others. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the library Internet Archive and the journalist non-profit MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Emma Best

From: Austin Police Department

Dear Emma Best:

Thank you for your interest in the public records of the Austin Police Department. Your request has been received and is being processed. Your request was received in this office on 6/9/2020 and given the reference number R039323-060920 for tracking purposes.
Please be advised that the Austin Police Department’s Central Records Division receives over 2500 requests for information a month. These requests are processed in the order received, and we strive to respond to each request promptly, as required by law.
Please know that, as a result of the large volume of requests received, the anticipated timeframe for responding to your request is approximately 45-60 business days.
You will be contacted about the availability and/or provided with copies of the records requested. PLEASE NOTE: The Texas Public Information Act does not require a governmental body to create new information, to do legal research, or to answer questions.
You can monitor the progress of your request at the link below and you’ll receive an email when your request has been completed. Again, thank you for using the Austin Public Records Center.
Austin Police Department

From: Austin Police Department

--- Please respond above this line ---

Emma,
I am working to compile the information for which you are asking. Are you willing to exclude the law enforcement sensitive portions?
Tara

From: Austin Police Department

--- Please respond above this line ---

Emma,
I haven't yet heard back from you on this. Are you willing to exclude law enforcement sensitive correspondence? If not, I will move forward with seeking an AG ruling. If I don't hear from you by the close of business Thursday, I will move forward with submitting a sample to our Legal Department for a decision.
Thank you,
Tara

From: Austin Police Department

Emma,

I have been trying to reach you for several days about the following public information request and haven't heard back. Is there a phone number at which I can contact you?

Tara

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Emails, letters, and memos to or from police/law enforcement unions, the National Guard, or federal officials between May 1, 2020 and the present.

I also request copies of emails containing any of the following: "protest", "protests", "Black Lives Matter", "BLM", "riot", "riots", "antifa", "antifascist", "anti-fascist", or "militia".

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers in outlets such as Gizmodo, MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, Unicorn Riot, and The Outline, among others. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the library Internet Archive and the journalist non-profit MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Emma Best

[cid:image001.png@01D6455C.F17BD2A0]
Tara C. Long
Public Information Specialist Senior
Austin Police Department

From: Austin Police Department

--- Please respond above this line ---

Emma,
APD has more than 2,600 employees and there have been any number of staffing/logistical emails have gone out to everyone that would include the word "protest" over the last several weeks. It's also likely that the Austin Police Association emailed all of their members multiple times over that timeframe.
Given that, please identify the specific personnel whose email communication you have an interest in obtaining. I cannot begin to process your request until you clarify/narrow the scope.
Thank you,
Tara Long

Files