Police department misconduct allegations and disciplinary proceedings

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Brighton Town Police Department of Brighton, NY.
Due Feb. 27, 2023
Est. Completion March 27, 2023
Awaiting Response


From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), we hereby request a copy of all “law enforcement disciplinary records,” use of force records, and other materials pertaining to all allegations of misconduct and all disciplinary actions or proceedings taken against any law enforcement officer or representative of this law enforcement agency.

Please provide all responsive records for all law enforcement employees for the period from 1970 through the date this request is processed. As processing of this request may require time and resources from your office, this request is amenable to receiving responsive materials on a rolling basis, beginning with the most recent materials.

Please provide all available responsive records, including those kept off-site, in digital form, and in personnel files. Please also provide all records related to any complaint or disciplinary action, including all incidents that did not result in a disciplinary action or a finding of substantiated grievance.

Materials responsive to this request include but are not limited to:
complaints, allegations, supporting materials, statements, and aggregate collections of complaint and disciplinary materials (spreadsheets, databases)
investigatory materials, transcripts, media (audio, photographs, video, etc.), notes, statements of chare, notices of decision, and relevant correspondence and directives
records of any "law enforcement disciplinary proceeding" (defined as “the commencement of any investigation and any subsequent hearing or disciplinary action conducted by a law enforcement agency”), as well as any records of appeal
records of discipline and penalties (including proof of discipline and fulfillment of penalties), as well as letters of termination or resignation
letters of reinstatement
memoranda, opinions, and reports
personnel materials (including those used in promotion, contract, and other employment negotiations and considerations) for which the misconduct allegations or disciplinary materials are relevant.
use of force records, including all those that document the names, badge numbers, and personnel identification of each officer involved and/or serving as a witness, in additional to all details of the incident (date, time, location, nature of the incident, description of the incident, nature of the use of force), reports to the New York Division of Criminal Justice, subsequent investigatory materials related to the use of force, the disposition of any investigation into the incident, and any subsequent materials related to the use of force
materials related to the disposition of any disciplinary proceeding, including any investigatory reports, as well as associated exhibits and amendments
all correspondence, written communications, e-mails, faxes, memorandum and the like pertaining to any such allegations, complaints, or disciplinary proceedings.

For all complaints and disciplinary events, we consider responsive all materials of recorded details, such as those that capture information including (but not limited to):
the names, badge numbers, and personnel identification of each officer involved and/or serving as a witness; details of the incident/complaint (date, time, location, nature of the incident, description of the incident)
communications sent to or from the individual regarding the incident
details of the investigation and investigatory materials
the disposition of the case
details related to the subsequent execution of any discipline.

For reference, Section 86 of the New York Public Officers Law contains a definition of “law enforcement disciplinary record.” Under the New York FOIL, a record is "any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for an agency or the state legislature, in any physical form whatsoever….” Records kept in a digital or electronic form are also records, would be responsive to this request, and should be provided.

This request and materials responsive to it include *all* records held in the possession of any office or individual employed or formerly employed by this policing agency, including those kept off-site, in digital form, and in personnel files.

Please note that any failure to provide all potentially-responsive materials and/or the destruction of materials potentially responsive to this request would be a violation of the spirit of the New York Freedom of Information Law, as well as unlawful under the New York FOIL.

Please provide materials on a rolling basis, beginning with materials created during the following timeframes:
• June 1, 2020 - February 20, 2023
• January 1, 2010 - May 31, 2020
• January 1, 2000 - January 1, 2010
• January 1, 1990 - January 1, 2000
• January 1, 1980 - January 1, 1990
• January 1, 1970 - January 1, 1980

If materials are not available for the requested timeframes, please provide an explanation for their absence and please let me know for which periods they are available. We understand that not all recordkeeping systems facilitate convenient access to some materials.

An agency shall not deny a request on the basis that the request is voluminous or burdensome. Pursuant to NYCRR Section 1401.5(c)(1), should any of this request be unclear or lack sufficient description for your office, please provide direction that would enable this requester to request records reasonably described.

If your office has questions about this request or would like to discuss it for any reason, please contact this requester via the contact email address provided and feel free to follow up by phone: 617-500-7123.

This request is being submitted to each policing agency in New York as part of a collaborative project led by Gannett Co., Inc., the ultimate parent corporation of the Democrat & Chronicle. This request is being made in the public interest by a news organization as part of non-profit (not commercial) journalistic work and research on behalf of the public. This project includes multiple other educational and journalistic partners and participants. For this reason, over the lifetime of this request, your agency may interface with individuals not listed on this letter.

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 and as part of the necessary negotiations for successful processing.

As far as it is possible, please fulfill elements of this request 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 5 business days, as the statute requires.


Beryl Lipton

From: Brighton Town Police Department

Please see attached.

Daniel Aman, RMC
Town Clerk/Receiver of Taxes
2300 Elmwood Ave
Rochester, NY 14618