Jamar Clark shooting video – Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

Brendan O'Connor filed this request with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension of Minnesota.


From: Brendan O'Connor

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Minnesota Data Practices Act, I hereby request the following documents:

Videos obtained by police of the officer-involved shooting of Jamar Clark on or about November 15, 2015, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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 would request your response within ten (10) business days.


Brendan O'Connor

From: Oliveira, Jill (DPS)

Mr. O’Connor, the investigation you reference below is an active and ongoing investigation and as such the data you have requested is not public at this time.

Jill oliveira | public information officer, MN Dept. of Public Safety
[Description: cid:image009.png@01CD3F22.739624B0]<bca.dps.mn.gov>Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
1430 Maryland Avenue East, St. Paul, MN 55106
651-793-2726 (w) 651-503-5418 (c) | jill.oliveira@state.mn.us<mailto:jill.oliveira@state.mn.us>
[Description: Description: Description: twitter] <http://twitter.com/#!/MnDPS_BCA> [Description: Description: Description: facebook] <http://facebook.com/pages/MnDPS_BCA-Bureau-of-Criminal-Apprehension/161470878700> [Description: Description: Description: Youtube] <http://www.youtube.com/user/MNDPS?feature=mhee>

From: Brendan O'Connor

Hi Jill, thanks for your response.

I am writing today to appeal your denial of my request, and to ask you to articulate how the release of this data would interfere with the investigation. Please see NLRB v. Robbins Tire & Rubber Co., 437 U.S. 214, 224 (1978) holding that government must show how records "would interfere with a pending enforcement proceeding."

Furthermore, the merit of this appeal is clear in light of a Cook County judge's recent ruling that video of Laquan McDonald's death in a police shooting in Chicago [http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/19/chicago-laquan-mcdonald-police-shooting-video] was not exempt from FOIA requests.

If this appeal should be redirected to another component, provision of the appropriate destination's contact information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

From: Engler, Katherine (DPS)

Dear Mr. O’Connor:

Your request has been forwarded to me for response. Minnesota’s open records law, the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, does not follow the “freedom of information” model adopted at the federal level and in many other states. Therefore, the Supreme Court case you cited does not apply to data held in the State of Minnesota by a state agency or political subdivision. Instead, the Minnesota Legislature intentionally chose to control how data are classified and when data can and cannot be released. The Legislature did not give individuals in state agencies and political subdivisions any discretion concerning the release of data.

In the case of an active criminal investigative, Minnesota Statutes, section 13.82, subd. 7 specifically classifies most data in the active case as confidential data on individuals or protected nonpublic data. These defined terms classify the data so that they are only accessible to the individuals whose work assignment requires them to have access. According to this provision, the Bureau cannot disclose the data that you have requested. Once the case is inactive, as defined in section 13.82, subd. 7, then the data become public and can be disclosed.

Katie Engler

Katherine A. (Katie) engler | senior legal analyst
[Description: cid:image009.png@01CD3F22.739624B0]<bca.dps.mn.gov>Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
1430 Maryland Avenue East, St. Paul, MN 55106
651-793-2721 | katherine.a.engler@state.mn.us<mailto:katherine.a.engler@state.mn.us>