|Submitted||Aug. 11, 2019|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Vermont Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records pertaining to an incident that occurred on Thursday night, August 8, 2019, in which a man was arrested at the McDonald's on Pearl Street for assaulting an officer. (I believe the address is 106 Pearl St.) A news report about the incident can be found here: https://www.wcax.com/content/news/Essex-Junction-man-accused-of-assaulting-officer-530377091.html
Specifically, I am requesting:
1) The police report and affidavit stemming from the incident.
2) Any video evidence obtained by the Essex PD, including but not limited to body camera footage, dashcam footage, security or surveillance camera footage, or footage recorded by bystanders or witnesses.
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 3 business days, as the statute requires.
Attached is the affidavit for Mr. Bellew. I have redacted the witnesses PII to include their home address, DOB and phone number. I have also redacted the defendant's PII to include his home address but I have left his name and DOB as they are public records - 1 V.S.A § 317 (5)(A)(iii)
At this time I am denying your request for any and all video associated with this case as it is an active court proceeding in its very early stages. The defense and prosecution have yet to receive this video through the normal discovery process. Should you wish to seek this video at a later date, there is a $45 fee that must be submitted prior to any release. You may also wish to request video directly from the SA or Defense as we would seek their approval first to assure we are not interfering with the defendant's right to due process - 1 V.S.A § 317 (5)(A)(i) and 1 V.S.A § 317 (5)(A)(ii)
You have the right to appeal my decision by writing to the Chief of Police at:
Attn: Chief Rick Garey
145 Maple St
Essex, VT 05452
Please let me know if you have any other questions,
We'd like to seek the video after the investigation is over. Will you get in touch with us then, or should we re-submit? If we should re-submit, do you have a general idea when the investigation could be over?