Demonstration drone footage

Matthew Petti filed this request with the City of Hackensack of Hackensack, NJ.
Tracking #

24-468

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Matthew Petti

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

Any footage (video or photo) taken by the Hackensack Police Department's drone at the March 10, 2024 demonstration in Teaneck.

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 7 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Matthew Petti

From: City of Hackensack

Hello,
Your Open Public Record Act (OPRA) Request has been received by the Hackensack City Clerk’s Office.
Be advised, the City Clerk's Office has seven (7) business days (not including holidays and weekends) to response to the request.
Thank you

From: Matthew Petti

Dear Ms. O'Brien,

I hope this message finds you well. This is Matthew Petti and I am writing in regards to my OPRA request sent on March 14. Do you have any update on when I could expect a response?

Sincerely,
Matthew

From: City of Hackensack

Hello,

The City Clerk’s Office received the attached via fax today March 25, 2024.

Per the email sent on March 15, 2024, the Clerk’s Office has seven (7) business days (not including holidays and weekends) to respond to OPRA requests.
This request has a due date of March 26, 2024.

Thank you,
Taylor O'Brien

From: City of Hackensack

Hello,

Please see the attached response for your OPRA Request (ref. no. 24-468)

Thank you,

Taylor O'Brien (she/her)
City Clerk's Office - OPRA Clerk
65 Central Avenue, 3rd Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601
(P): 201-646-3940
(F): 201-457-1466
tobrien@hackensack.org<mailto:tobrien@hackensack.org>

From: Matthew Petti

Dear Ms. Karlsson,

I hope this message finds you well, and that you are having a restful holiday weekend. My name is Matthew Petti and I am writing in regards to your OPRA response dated March 26, 2024. Thank you for your prompt response to my request.

However, I object to this denial. The Supreme Court’s decision in Gilleran relates to static security cameras, which are placed on a building and do not move. In contrast, a drone moves and is more on part with a policy body camera, dash camera, etc. There is no security issue in disclosing it.

Additionally, you cannot meet your burden by saying the video “may implicate privacy concerns.” A mere image of a juvenile or any other person in a public place does not warrant redaction, as there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in public. Similarly, “may also implicate matters relating to ongoing law enforcement investigations” is not an exemption.

I look forward to hearing to your response soon.

Best regards,
Matthew

From: Muckrock Staff

Dear Ms. Karlsson,

I hope this message finds you well, and that you are having a restful holiday weekend. My name is Matthew Petti and I am writing in regards to your OPRA response dated March 26, 2024. Thank you for your prompt response to my request.

However, I object to this denial. The Supreme Court’s decision in Gilleran relates to static security cameras, which are placed on a building and do not move. In contrast, a drone moves and is more on part with a policy body camera, dash camera, etc. There is no security issue in disclosing it.

Additionally, you cannot meet your burden by saying the video “may implicate privacy concerns.” A mere image of a juvenile or any other person in a public place does not warrant redaction, as there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in public. Similarly, “may also implicate matters relating to ongoing law enforcement investigations” is not an exemption.

I look forward to hearing to your response soon.

Best regards,
Matthew

From: City of Hackensack

Hello,

We write with respect to your April 5, 2024 reply to the City's March 14, 2024 response to your Open Public Records Act ("OPRA") request (ref. no. 24-468). Your reply objects to the City's denial of access pursuant to OPRA's security exemption and based upon protecting the citizens' reasonable expectation of privacy who attended the Teaneck demonstration held on March 10, 2024. The City evaluated its prior response in light of your reply, and its position remains that you are not legally entitled to access the requested materials. In addition to the reasons set forth in the City's March 14, 2024 response, an additional reason that the requested materials are exempt from public access is that the underlying footage constitutes law enforcement records relating to citizens who were neither arrested nor charged. See Fuster v. Twp. of Chatham, 477 N.J. Super. 477 (App. Div. 2023) (determining that government records involving a person who has not been arrested or charged with an offense are entitled to confidentiality based upon long-established judicial precedent). As such, the City is legally precluded from releasing any footage of citizens generated during the March 10th demonstration. We trust that this correspondence satisfies your concerns, and we again note that the City is closing out your OPRA request.

Thank you,

Taylor O'Brien (she/her)
City Clerk's Office - OPRA Clerk
65 Central Avenue, 3rd Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601
(P): 201-646-3940
(F): 201-457-1466
tobrien@hackensack.org<mailto:tobrien@hackensack.org>

From: Matthew Petti

Dear Ms. O’Brien,

I also want to make sure you’ve considered my common law right to this video. I understand you’re denying access under OPRA, but I believe there is a strong common law right to access the video in order to monitor the police department’s use of surveillance techniques on First Amendment activities and to better understand what occurred during the protest. Any claimed privacy right is minimal because this took place in public, and blurring of faces would suffice. Can you please let me know if you’ll grant access under the common law?

Sincerely,
Matthew Petti

From: Matthew Petti

Dear Ms. O’Brien,

I just want to follow up on my previous email. Is there any determination on whether I have a common law right to this video?

Sincerely,
Matthew Petti

From: City of Hackensack

Dear Mr. Petti,

We have reviewed your April 24, 2024 reply to the City's April 11, 2024 e-mail correspondence pertaining to your Open Public Records Act request (ref. #24-468). Your reply requests that the City reconsider its prior denial of access based upon "your strong common law right to access the video in order to monitor the police department's use of surveillance techniques on First Amendment activities and to better understand what occurred during the protest." You further asserted that the blurring of faces would suffice to protect any privacy interests.

In light of your asserted interest in accessing the responsive footage and the fact that the attendees' identities cannot be ascertained from review of the footage, the City has decided to release said footage to you pursuant to the common law right of access. Please be advised that the City is unable to provide the responsive footage electronically. The footage will be placed on a thumb drive and mailed to you. Kindly send us $12.11 for the cost of the thumb drive and certified mailing; we will promptly send you the footage upon receipt of same.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation,

Taylor O'Brien (she/her)
City Clerk's Office - OPRA Clerk
65 Central Avenue, 3rd Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601
(P): 201-646-3940
(F): 201-457-1466
tobrien@hackensack.org<mailto:tobrien@hackensack.org>

From: Matthew Petti


To Whom It May Concern:

Please find enclosed a check for $12.11 to satisfy the fee associated with the attached public records request.

Thank you.

Check sent by Muckrock Staff

Pay to the order of:

City Clerk's Office
OPRA Clerk
65 Central Avenue, 3rd Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601

#11610
Amount of: $12.11
  • Created — 05/31/2024
  • In Transit — 06/05/2024
  • In Local Area — 06/08/2024
  • Processed For Delivery — 06/08/2024
  • Deposited — 06/20/2024

From: Matthew Petti

Dear Ms. O’Brien,

Thank you for agreeing to provide the footage. The check is in the mail. Please let me know when you've received it and sent out the thumb drive.

Sincerely,
Matthew Petti

From: City of Hackensack

Hello,

The City Clerk's Office is in receipt of check No. 0000011610 in the amount of $12.11 for the responsive records for OPRA No. 468.
USPS Certified Tracking 9489017898203022773612 for the package that will be mailed out today.

Thank you,

Taylor O'Brien (she/her)
City Clerk's Office - OPRA Clerk
65 Central Avenue, 3rd Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601
(P): 201-646-3940
(F): 201-457-1466
tobrien@hackensack.org<mailto:tobrien@hackensack.org>

From: City of Hackensack

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

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