Aircraft information request for 1993 206-l4 Bell (Independent Police Review Authority)

Jacob Appelbaum filed this request with the Independent Police Review Authority of Chicago, IL .
Tracking #

20-060-170

Multi Request Aircraft information request for 1993 206-l4 Bell
Est. Completion None
Status
No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Jacob Appelbaum


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act., I hereby request the following records:

All records, documents, emails, and other correspondence regarding or related to the 1993 model 206-l4 Bell helicopter as well as any additional equipment attached to the aircraft. This aircraft has serial number 52047 and holds registration N911YY. This aircraft uses the mode-s code of AC9C9F in hexadecimal. I request records, documents, emails, privacy assessments, purchase orders, maintenance records, and other correspondence relating to the equipment.

Additionally, I would like any manuals, procedures, communications protocols, and any communications related to inter-agency coordination. This should include pilot logs, flight plans, and surveillance plans. Specifically, I am looking for any and all data relating to flights over and near the city of Chicago. The data for the last week with a focus on the months of May and June 2020 where the aircraft was documented flying in circles over demonstrations at an altitude of 1,075 feet. Any imaging or other surveillance data from onboard collection is additionally requested, as well as any policies which govern the collection, processing, use, and dissemination of this data. Any communication about this data or related data should be included, especially inter-agency communications, and metadata.

This information is part of a journalistic research project involving the Seattle Privacy Coalition.

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 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Jacob Appelbaum

From: Chicago Office Of Police Accountability

Dear Mr. Appelbaum,

Attached is your FOIA request for 20-060-170.
Please let me know if you have any questions or issues. If we do not hear from you, COPA will consider this request complete.
Regards,
Jason Szczepanski
Paralegal II
Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA)
1615 W. Chicago Avenue, 4th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60622
(312) 746-3609

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From: Jacob Appelbaum

Dear Mr. Szczepanski,

Thank you very much for your extremely quick reply! I'm surprised by the contents of the reply and I admit, it may be that I am not entirely clear on the oversight structures in Chicago. My understanding, and please correct me if I'm mistaken, is that COPA does oversight of the Chicago police department. Is that correct? If that is correct, I have an additional follow up question - does COPA not include in their mandate - oversight over the Chicago police department's use of any aircraft or the aircraft in question (N911YY), in the course of their policing?

It is my understanding that the Chicago police used this aircraft (N911YY) for surveillance and coordination of policing activities during the recent George Floyd protests. Is there any oversight of this police activity by COPA? If not - who would be the correct agency to ask for this data? For example, does your oversight agency have records relating to the surveillance outputs produced by aircraft? If so, I would be happy to modify my request to cover such a work product.

I've also contacted the Chicago police in another FOIA request and I had high hopes that COPA would have similar or even better records which take into account oversight of civil liberty issues, and other related concerns which come from an objective civilian oversight body. Should I additionally consider writing to the Mayor's office as well?

I'm willing to modify my request to make it more suitable, though I'm not sure of the best way to do so. I trust that we be able to discuss this further and find a way forward.

Thank you again for your prompt reply, it is much appreciated! I wish you a good weekend and look forward to speaking soon.

Sincerely,
Jacob Appelbaum

From: Independent Police Review Authority

Dear Mr.Appelbaum,

At this time, we are unable to produce a response pursuant to your request. Though the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") requires public bodies to produce documents, it was not intended to "compel public bodies to interpret or advise requesters as meaning or significance of the public records." 5 ILCS 140/3.3. Similarly, an Illinois Appellate Court determined that FOIA "does not compel the agency to provide answers to questions posed by the inquirer." Kenyon v. Garrels, 184 Ill. App. 3d 28 (4th Dist. 1989). Because responding to your FOIA request would compel us to answer questions, we are unable to respond.

Additionally, you will likely find our website helpful in answering some of your questions.
Regards,
Jason Szczepanski
Paralegal II
Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA)
1615 W. Chicago Avenue, 4th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60622
(312) 746-3609

From: Independent Police Review Authority

My response on June 12, 2020 was in response to your follow up questions. My response is now completed. Please, go to our website to answer the majority of the questions you may have.

Jason Szczepanski
Paralegal II
Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA)
1615 W. Chicago Avenue, 4th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60622
(312) 746-3609

From: Independent Police Review Authority

Mr. Appelbaum,

Sorry for any confusion from our prior communications. I searched our records and was unable to find any materials responsive to your request. Unfortunately, I am unable to answer more specific questions.

With this response, COPA considers the request closed.

Thank you,
Jason Szczepanski
Paralegal II
Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA)
1615 W. Chicago Avenue, 4th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60622
(312) 746-3609

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