|June 8, 2020
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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.
Dear Emma Best:
As part of the unprecedented response to coronavirus in Texas, and in light of the Governor’s disaster declaration, most of the administrative departments of the City of Fort Worth are now either closed or are minimally staffed by a skeleton crew, while remaining staff is working remotely or involved directly in the public health or epidemic response. The City is unable to access its records to respond to public information requests at this time. This notice has been posted on the City’s website. During the period this notice is posted, the City of Fort Worth is not considered to be open for business for purposes of the time deadlines under the Texas Public Information Act.
In accordance with the guidance issued by the Office of the Texas Attorney General, this is not a “business day” for purposes of Chapter 552 of Texas Government Code, the Public Information Act, and all PIA related processes are currently paused. On the date that the City resumes “business days” under more normal operations, all previously received requests will resume processing and any requests submitted during the skeleton crew day period will be officially noted as being received and begin being processed. Thank you for your interest in public records of the City of Fort Worth, Texas. Your request has been received and is being processed in accordance with Chapter 552 of Texas Government Code, the Public Information Act. Your request was received in this office and given the log number W102493-060820 for tracking purposes.
Your request will be forwarded to the relevant City department(s) to locate the information you seek and to determine the volume and any costs associated with satisfying your request. You will be contacted about the availability and/or provided with copies of the records in question. 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 under "My Requests" Again, thank you for using the Open Records Center, Public Information Administrator
This is an auto-generated email and has originated from an unmonitored email account. Please DO NOT REPLY
This correspondence is in response to your request for public information, which the City of Fort Worth (the "City") received on June 08, 2020. You requested the following information:
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".
The City is committed to providing you with the information you are seeking. However, your request is very broad. In order to properly search for the requested information, please provide the names of the persons whose email accounts would like searched for responsive records. Because of the broad scope of the request, there would likely be a very substantial fee associated with locating, compiling, and providing the requested information to you, as authorized by the Texas Public Information Act. Therefore, rather than just sending you a very high cost estimate for the information you have requested, we would like to see if you might be interested in narrowing the scope of your request in order to decrease or potentially eliminate any costs to you while also ensuring that you receive the specific information you would like from the City.
Please be advised that if the City does not receive a written response from you by the 61st day after the date this letter is sent to you, your request for public information is considered to have been withdrawn by you.
Bryan N. Bice 2813
Legal Liaison Officer
Internal Affairs Section
Fort Worth Police Department
505 W. Felix St., Fort Worth, TX 76115