Cohen v. TSA Documents

Michael Morisy filed this request with the Memphis International Airport Police Department of Memphis, TN.


From: Alexander Smith

You have recently been sued in Cohen v. TSA, No. 2:16-cv-02529 (W.D. TN., filed June 28, 2016). This request asks for a variety of records related to the June 30, 2015 incident involving Shirley Cohen and Hannah Cohen that is described in that lawsuit.
This request is made under the Tennessee Open Meetings Act, Tennessee Public Records Act and any other applicable Tennessee law (collectively, "FOIA").

As you are aware, TSA and DHS have also been requested to provide these records, under the federal Freedom of Information Act. That does not relieve you of your separate obligation to respond under TN law, with respect to any records in your possession or control, even if TSA or DHS also have possession or control of the same record or copies thereof. This particularly includes any records that TSA may claim to be SSI, 49 USC 114(r), which are still your duty to release in accordance with TN law.

If you are aware of any other TN agency that may have responsive records, such as the City of Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons, etc., you are required to forward this request to that agency, with a copy to me.

Please take particular note of the requirement detailed below for native electronic records and electronic response and provision of records. Tennessean v. Electric Power Board of Nashville, 979 S.W.2d 297 (Tenn. 1998), T.C.A. 10-7-503(a)(1)(A), ADA, Rehabilitation Act § 508.

I request expedited handling of this request, as it is on a matter of immediate journalistic concern related to a recently filed major civil suit against you due to your agents' infliction of serious injury to a disabled person. I expect you to respond within a maximum of 7 business days. T.C.A. 10-7-503(a)(2)(B).

This letter is a formal FOIA request for the following records:

1. All CCTV recorded at MEM on June 30, 2015.
2. All records relating to the incident by any parties, witnesses, etc., and/or by TSA, DHS, MSCAA, MIAPD, and/or any of their agents, and/or any other Tennessee agency that may have responsive records.
a. This is to especially include any TSA Incident Report, SPOT report, police report, 911 call, police or TSA radio traffic, police or TSA notes, Rehabilitation Act investigation documents, statements, communications with media, internal communications, etc.
b. See, e.g. T.C.A. 10-7-512 and Memphis Publ'g Co. v. Holt, 710 S.W.2d 513 (Tenn. 1986).
3. All history of complaints, disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, investigation, or similar records against any of the TSA, MSCAA and/or MIAPD personnel involved in the incident.
a. "Personnel" includes contractors. T.C.A. 10-7-503(a)(6).
b. See, e.g., T.C.A. 10-7-503(c)(1), 10-7-504(g).
4. All records of criminal proceedings relating to this case. (See e.g. amended complaint at p. 3 ¶ 18.)
a. "Criminal proceedings" includes arrest, arraignment, etc., regardless of whether charges were ultimately filed or dropped. "Records" thereof include any prosecutorial case file, evidence, booking or release records, indictment, etc.
b. See, e.g. T.C.A. 10-7-507, 10-7-510, 10-7-512, and Memphis Publ'g Co. v. Holt, 710 S.W.2d 513 (Tenn. 1986).

I also request:

5. every record relating to the fulfillment of this request.

For all responsive records, I also request:

* all parts of the record (i.e. no portion of a record with some responsive portion may be considered "non-responsive");
* all versions of the record, whether or not currently in use;
* all record metadata, such as dates on which they were drafted, passed, went into effect, withdrawn, or similar events; person(s) / office(s) responsible; authors; IDs; revision numbers; etc.;
* a detailed index of all claims of exemption/privilege, regardless of whether the record is claimed to be exempt in whole or in part;
access to inspect the record directly, in its native electronic format; and

Please prioritize, in order:

* the items & subitems above, in the order listed
* within each item or subitem, most recent records first


1. items under the "for all responsive records" section are to be prioritized at the same level as the record they apply to, and
2. this priority order is only for items that may take extra time to respond to, and must not be taken as blocking response to an otherwise lower priority item that could be released more quickly than a higher priority item that is pending time-intensive search or review.

For the purposes of this request, except as otherwise specified, "record" means any agreement, appendix, application, assessment, attachment, checklist, circular, contract, correspondence (including but not limited to email), data management plan, documentation of search parameters, email, email attachment, form, guide, handbook, index of records, information consent agreement, information sharing agreement, instruction, interpretation, kit, management instruction, manual, memorandum, memorandum of understanding, notice, notification, opinion, order, plan, policy, policy statement, processing note, publication, recording, referral, report, request certification form, request detail report, response, rule, script, standard operating procedure, submission, talking point, training document, video, or related record described, regardless of publication status.

This request specifically excludes providing me with new copies of any records which have been already provided to me or published online for free (e.g. on the agency's online "reading room"), in full or identically to the form that would be provided to me under this request (i.e. with exactly the same format, redactions, and claimed exemptions).
This is only an exclusion on providing records under this request that are identical to those already provided to me or available online, and only if I am or have already been provided a link to the online version (if "available online").
This exclusion is only intended to limit unnecessary duplication or provision, not to limit what records are responsive to this request, nor to permit failure to disclose the location of a responsive record available online. If this exclusion would in any way increase the cost or duration to respond to this request, it is to be ignored to the extent it does so.

This request is to be treated as separate from all others that I have filed.

Please forward this request to the FOIA office of every agency component and subcomponent that may have responsive records for independent processing, with a copy to me.
This request includes any records held jointly by your agency in conjunction with any other agency and/or department, in interagency and/or interdepartmental systems of records, or by other agencies or third parties (including contractors) acting pursuant any agreement with your agency.

With the possible exception of the index of records claimed to be exempt or privileged, this request does not ask you to create new records. If you determine that a response would require creating a new record that you do not want to create, please first contact me by email with an explanation of what records you have that would most closely match the information requested and might be acceptable substitutes, so that we can reasonably tailor the request.
In particular, I specifically request that you do not create new documents in response to this request that are modifications of a digital record, such as page-view images, print views, scans, or the like. No such creation or substitution is authorized by FOIA or the Privacy Act.
However, if the same or similar records are held in both electronic and paper formats, this request includes both the paper and electronic versions. The paper version and the digital version are distinct records, and each may contain distinct information such as handwritten or other markings on the paper copy and embedded metadata in the electronic version.

Please note that the FOIA requires you to service the maximum extent of my request that can be done via e.g. partial redaction of exempt material. If you believe some portions of a record to be exempt because it contains Sensitive Security Information (SSI, 49 CFR 15 & 1520) or classified information (18 USC 798), please provide a version of the record redacted to the minimum extent necessary to remove exempt information (e.g. per 49 CFR 1520.15), along with adequate information to describe the reason for each specific exemption.

In order to help tailor my request, please provide an upfront estimate of the time and cost it will take to complete this request, broken down any significant factors that would affect cost to service, number of records in each category, and your estimate of how many records in the category are likely to be exempt.

Please provide me with incremental updates, with updated estimates for fulfillment of the remainder, rather than having the entirety of the request be blocked until fully completed.

In accordance with Tennessean v. Electric Power Board of Nashville, 979 S.W.2d 297 (Tenn. 1998), TN Attorney General Opinion No. 06-069, T.C.A. 10-7-503(a)(7)(A), Americans With Disabilities Act, and Rehabilitation Act § 508, please respond to this request in using native format, electronic, machine-processable, accessible, open, and well structured records to the maximum extent possible. This means, e.g.,

* native format records rather than PDFs or other conversions,
* individual files per distinct source record (e.g. one file per email), named clearly using the record's identifier, title, and date, rather than a single file containing multiple concatenated records,
* records compliant with the Rehabilitation Act § 508, 36 CFR 1194.22, USAB ATBCB-2015-0002, and I​SO 14289­-1,
* fully digital text records rather than scans or rasterizations,
* complete electronic records, as held on any computer (including phones, servers, backup servers, mail servers, workstations, etc.), including all headers and attachments, fully expanded e-mail addresses, full addresses for address "aliases", full lists for "distribution list" aliases, all embedded and external metadata, complete bitwise digital copies of the original file, all file headers, and all other file content;
* blackout rather than whiteout redactions, with every redaction marked with all exemption(s) claimed for that redaction,
* digital redactions rather than black marker or rasterization,
* lists and structured data as machine-processable spreadsheets (e.g. CSV, SQL, XSL) rather than word documents (e.g. DOC, PDF, TXT, RTF) or partial printouts (e.g. PDF),
* open format records (e.g. PDF, AVI, MPG) rather than proprietary format records (e.g. WordPerfect, Microsoft Advanced Systems Format (ASF)),
* scans rather than paper copies,
* digital audio/video files rather than physical tapes,
* upload to your Electronic Reading Room (or other publicly accessible server) rather than personal transfer (for all items other than the item requesting records related to me or my requests),
* email or (S)FTP file transfer rather than CD,
* email correspondence rather than physical mail, etc.

Multiple files may be sent in a combined, compressed form using standard ZIP, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, and/or RAR formats, or sent as separate files, at your discretion.
However, do NOT use a password on any files, including ZIP files etc., without first sending me the password.

If there are any files you prefer not to transfer by email (e.g. if they are >10MB), please upload them to me via Dropbox at this link:
Doing so is secure (HTTPS), and completely free to you.

Please note that this request does not request that you physically "duplicate" records, as I do not want you to create any paper or other physical copy for me — I only want electronic versions (or scans, for records that are not fully available in electronic form). As such, I expect there to be no duplication related costs.
Furthermore, I specifically request access for inspection of the records, including direct electronic access, in native format, to any electronic records. T.C.A. 10-7-503(a)(7)(A), 10-7-506(a).

I am not currently willing to pay for servicing this request. I may be willing to pay if it is necessary; please send a detailed explanation of the costs and their statutory justification, and service the maximum extent of the request that can be done for free in the meantime.
This request is a qualified request for journalistic, public interest purposes (entitling me to fully waived fees). As such, I request public interest fee waiver and journalistic fee waiver. T.C.A. 10-7-506(c)(4).
I have no commercial interest in these records.
I am a representative of the news media and entitled to waiver of all search fees.
I intend and am able to host and publish all received records online to the general public at no charge, as well to publish highlights, analyses, summaries, commentaries, and other creative, original journalistic work about responsive records through multiple online publications
The records are of significant public interest, entitled to waiver of all duplication fees, since
as above, I both am able and intend to disseminate the files widely;
they would contribute greatly to the public understanding of the operations & activities of your agency, in that they are records that directly describe agency operations & activities and extreme violations of civil rights by your agency;
they are not currently readily available; and
they are likely to be requested by others.
As mentioned above, I am explicitly not asking for any physical duplication, but rather direct server-to-server file transfer or email (or posting on your website). The FOIA authorizes duplication fees strictly limited to your agency's actual costs, and mandates that your agency use the cheapest available requested methods. I consider the actual costs for server-to-server file transfer to be reasonably estimated by, e.g., Amazon S3's pricing (
I request that, pending fee waiver determination or appeal, you proceed with this request as if it were in the "other non-commercial requester" category.

If you have any questions or updates about this request, please contact me by email.
Please ensure that all of your responses comply with § 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, 36 CFR 1194.22, and UESB NPRM ATBCB-2015-0002.
In particular, please make all correspondence pursuant to this request — including notification and responsive records — by email, with native electronic format records, as specified in the request. I do not authorize you to send anything to me by physical mail unless I specifically state otherwise.
My email address is sufficient for all response to this request, and I can provide you with free means of electronic transfer for records too large to email.
Do not respond using ZixCorp "Secure Mail" or any other method that "expires" records from being available. Use only actual email and direct attachments, unless I explicitly request otherwise.

Please let me know your tracking number(s) for this request upon receipt, as well as your estimated completion date.
If you believe that any of the requested items are not reasonably described, or that you need any further information regarding my qualification for fee waivers, please be specific about what you consider vague and what questions I can answer that would clarify them.

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


Carlton Purvis

From: Police Report Reply

Thank you for your request for a police report. If you do not receive the report within 15 days from receipt of this email, please call (901)922-8401 for a status update.

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority
Legal Department

From: Brian L. Kuhn

Mr. Purvis, , Your Public Records Request pursuant to the Tennessee Public Records Act has been referred to my office for reply as per the policy of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. Your request is respectfully denied because a Public Records request to the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority is only available to citizens of Tennessee under the Act. Your physical mailing address indicates that you are a citizen of Massachusetts. Please provide proof that you are a Tennessee citizen, like a Tennessee driver's license and we will be happy to again review your request. Please note that this was a holiday weekend so our offices were closed for the Holiday yesterday. Regards, Brian Kuhn

Brian L. Kuhn
General Counsel
2491 Winchester Road, Suite 113
Memphis,TN 38116-3856
P: 901-922-8184<>

From: Memphis International Airport Police Department

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Brian L. Kuhn

Mr. Purvis, Attached you will find the only records that we have that are responsive to your request. We will be mailing the dvd cctv video of this incident to the address on your driver’s license, we do not have that where it can be submitted electronically. There will be no charge since these are handled electronically. We do not keep criminal records, you will have to ask that of officials who have those records. Regards, Brian Kuhn

Brian L. Kuhn
General Counsel
2491 Winchester Road, Suite 113
Memphis,TN 38116-3856
P: 901-922-8184<>

From: Michael Morisy

Thank you for your assistance.

Please mail the CCTV DVD to the MuckRock address specified in my address, rather than to the address on my license. Also, please re-send the image files as separate image files (e.g. JPG or PNG), rather than embedded in a PDF, since the PDF embedding degrades the image quality.

Finally, could you please confirm whether this response constitutes the final response on behalf of MIAPD, MSCAA, or both?

Thank you again for your cooperation.

From: Michael Morisy

Also, re. your statement: "We do not keep criminal records, you will have to ask that of officials who have those records. "

Could you please tell me what officials or agencies would have those records?

Thanks again.

From: Michael Morisy

Page 2 of the record of arrest is poorly scanned; the image is cut off on both sides (e.g. the last line ends "Jail E").

Could you please re-scan the document so that it has no text missing?

Thank you.

From: Brian L. Kuhn

1. The DVD was already sent out by the time I received this email, it went to your address as, once again, we only respond to Tennessee citizens.

2. The response was for the Authority and the Police Dpt. The police dpt is not a legal entity, it is simply an department of the Authority, so the Authority is the proper response for all departments within the Authority.

3. All public records requests are responded to electronically in pdf format. The public records act does not allow the person requesting the record to dictate the format. All other requests have been sent exactly like this and NBC, ABC, the Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Business Journal and other individuals have not complained about the format or the ability to open the response.

Brian L. Kuhn
General Counsel
2491 Winchester Road, Suite 113
Memphis,TN 38116-3856
P: 901-922-8184<>

From: Brian L. Kuhn

Although we are not required to respond to questions in a public records request, just provide records, I will go ahead and tell you to check the Shelby County Govt. website for the criminal court clerk’s office.

Brian L. Kuhn
General Counsel
2491 Winchester Road, Suite 113
Memphis,TN 38116-3856
P: 901-922-8184<>

From: Brian L. Kuhn

The copy reflects the original. It does end in Jail East. The sides are not cut off. This is the same electronic document we have provided all other requesting entities with no complaints back from them.

Brian L. Kuhn
General Counsel
2491 Winchester Road, Suite 113
Memphis,TN 38116-3856
P: 901-922-8184<>

From: Michael Morisy

Thank you for your prompt and helpful responses.

I look forward to receiving the DVD.

From: MuckRock

Hi there,

No materials have yet been received. Could you please confirm that they were sent to the appropriate address, as determined by your office?

Thanks so much,
Beryl, MuckRock

From: MuckRock

Hello again,

I'd also like to offer an in-person pick-up of the materials, in case that makes things easier.

Thanks again!
Beryl, MuckRock

From: Brian L. Kuhn

All materials were sent to Mr. Purvis, the Tennessee citizen who made the request. He was sent documents electronically and a DVD by mail. The email address was his as was the mail address on the driver’s license he provided. You need to check with him as he was the person providing the id showing that he was a Tennessee citizen. Per the Public Records Act we only provide information to Tennessee citizens who make the request.

Brian L. Kuhn
General Counsel
2491 Winchester Road, Suite 113
Memphis,TN 38116-3856
P: 901-922-8184<>

From: Brian L. Kuhn

As per my previous email to you, what happened to Mr. Purvis who was asking for these items for you and to whom we delivered the items? Are you a Tennessee citizen? I don’t think the Public Records Act requires duplicate or numerous deliveries to the same request to the same person.

Brian L. Kuhn
General Counsel
2491 Winchester Road, Suite 113
Memphis,TN 38116-3856
P: 901-922-8184<>

From: Michael Morisy

I've received your DVD; thank you.

Could you please confirm that the two video files you sent - 5203_-_B_CKPT_EXIT_PTZ.pef and 5238_-_B_CKPT_BS2_MD3_OUT_2.pef - are the ONLY CCTV available of ANY part of the Cohens or the police at MEM on 2015-06-30?

I would like to have all other angles of both the post-screening arrest phase, and of the pre-screening (e.g. standing in line, initial screening, etc) that may be available, as there are some things that are not clearly seen from the angles given, and parts of the full context that are missing.

If you have not preserved any other video from MEM on 2015-06-30 than what you provided to me, please let me know.

Otherwise, please let me know what other video you preserved, and please send it to me via my MuckRock address. Please do not use the DL address, as I use MuckRock to help process my TN PRA requests, and sending it directly to them speeds the process.

Thank you again for your assistance.

From: Brian L. Kuhn

You got whatever video that exists to the best of our knowledge.

Brian L. Kuhn
General Counsel
2491 Winchester Road, Suite 113
Memphis,TN 38116-3856
P: 901-922-8184<>

From: Michael Morisy


Thank you for your confirmation and assistance.