Belmar arrest record for journalist Gustavo Martinez

Runa Sandvik filed this request with the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office of Monmouth County, NJ.


From: Runa Sandvik

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Any and all records detailing the arrest and detention of journalist Gustavo Martinez of Asbury Park Press on June 1 2020 by officers of the Belmar Police Department. Records requested include police reports, arrest reports, witness statements, and/or narratives submitted by police officers involved with the reporters’ arrests.

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.


Runa Sandvik

From: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office

Dear Ms. Sandvik:
Thank you for your email of today’s date.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office is in receipt of your Open Public Records Request of June 4, 2020. Normally, the records custodian is required to respond within 7 business days of an OPRA request. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5i. That would make tomorrow, June 16, 2020, the deadline for responding to your request of June 4, 2020. Last March, however, the statute was amended to make the 7-day deadline inapplicable during a state of emergency, instead requiring the records custodian to “make a reasonable effort, as the circumstances permit, to respond to a request for access” under OPRA. This amendment relaxing the 7-day deadline is currently in effect.

The incident that is the subject of your Public Record request has prompted an Internal Affairs (IA) investigation, which remains open at this time. We recognize the strong public interest in an investigation that is expeditious and thorough. We also recognize and appreciate the strong public interest in dissemination of complete and accurate information. These interests could not be more compelling considering the subject matter of your request and the current social climate.

We anticipate the IA investigation being completed quickly, within the next 7 to 10 days. We want to provide you with records responsive to your request – but, without compromising the integrity or efficacy of the open IA investigation. Therefore, we are invoking the amendment to § 47:1A-5i to afford additional time to respond to your request.

We look forward to providing you records in response to your request when the IA investigation is completed. You will hear back from me in the unlikely event that there will be delay beyond that specified in this email.

Thank you for your patience.
Mary Juliano
Assistant Prosecutor
Monmouth County

From: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I know that the 10-business-day extension that I had requested expired yesterday.

I am advised that the IA review is continuing, but near complete. It should not take longer than an additional seven (7) days. We are invoking NJSA 47:1A-5(i)(2) to secure that additional time. I thank you for your continued patience.

From: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office

Attached please find records and explanatory letter in response to the below OPRA request.

As indicated in the letter, we also have body worn camera footage that falls within the scope of your request. Access to that footage may be accomplished by this link:

Mary Juliano
Assistant Prosecutor