BLM comms (Fairfax County Police Department)

Emma North-Best filed this request with the Fairfax County Police Department of Fairfax County, VA.
Multi Request BLM comms
Est. Completion None
Fix Required


From: Tom Nash

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of 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 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Please note that I am a citizen of Virginia, and am using MuckRock's services to help manage and track my request.


Tom Nash

From: Fairfax County Police Department

Tom Nash,

Thank you for submitting your Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) request, which was initially received by the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) on June 8, 2020. Your request is attached for reference.

As a preliminary matter, please be advised that it is unclear what specific records you are seeking when you mention "Emails, letters, and memos to or from police/law enforcement unions, the National Guard, or federal officials between May 1, 2020 and the present." VFOIA requires that requests for public records be made with reasonable specificity. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704(B). The FCPD has over 1,000 email accounts and to search all of those accounts for emails that may be responsive to this request would cost thousands of dollars. If you would like to narrow your request by providing particular email accounts to be searched, please provide both the employee email account(s) and the words and phrases to be used in this specific search.

Regarding your second request for "emails containing any of the following: "protest", "protests", "Black Lives Matter", "BLM", "riot", "riots", "antifa", "antifascist", "anti-fascist", or "militia"", please be advised that the Fairfax County Department of Information and Technology (DIT) conducted a preliminary search of FCPD email accounts for records based on the scope of your request. Please note you did not identify a date range for this request. The DIT employed the date range you identified in your first request. The DIT located in excess of 40,000 potentially responsive email records. Please note that once the records are collected, a subject matter expert must review each record to determine:

· if it is a "public record" as defined in Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3701,

· if it is responsive to the scope of your request, and

· if so, whether it is subject to any exemptions.
If you are interested in proceeding with this search then please let us know; however, please be advised that the County estimates the costs for collection, review, and production of these records would likely be thousands of dollars. If you wish to move forward with this request the County will require payment prior to processing your VFOIA request because the estimated costs will exceed $200. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704(H). Please let us know if you would like to proceed with this request so we can provide you with a cost estimate.
In an effort to assist you with reducing costs related to this request, you may wish to revise the scope of your request by limiting the number of keywords, and/or identifying specific employee email accounts to be searched.

Thank you,

Countywide FOIA Office
Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, Virginia 22035-0065<>