NYPD "Secret" stamp and classification system review

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the New York City Police Department of New York City, NY.
Tracking # 2014-PL-0357
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York State Freedom of Information Law (1977 N.Y. Laws ch. 933), I hereby request the following records:

-Any guidance prepared by the Chief's Office, policy commissioner of intelligence, deputy commissioner of intelligence or other senior administrator on the designation of particular documents as "Secret," "N.Y.P.D. Secret" or non-releasable due to sensitivity, including the standards for determining whether documents fit this category.
-Final reports from reviews or audits conducted by the department auditor, FOIL unit or Intelligence Division from January 1, 2003 to the day this request is processed of the legality and deployment of "Secret" or "N.Y.P.D. Secret" document labels, stamps and designations.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

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 look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Shawn Musgrave

From: New York City Police Department

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 6, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-PL-0357.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 6, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-PL-0357.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 6, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-PL-0357.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 6, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-PL-0357.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 6, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-PL-0357.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 6, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-PL-0357.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 6, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-PL-0357.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 6, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-PL-0357.

Thank you for your help.

From: New York City Police Department

A no responsive documents response.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Jonathan David
Records Access Appeals Officer
New York City Police Department
One Police Plaza - Room 1406
New York, NY 10038-1497

June 6, 2014

Mr. David,

This is an appeal of the adequacy of the search for FOIL request 2014-PL-0357. In the attached letter, the NYPD FOIL unit indicates that it is unable to locate any of the requested documents. I find this unlikely.

The "NYPD Secret" stamp has been covered widely, and noted as far back as 2004.

Here are a number of articles that have addressed the designation:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/16/nypd-secret-classification_n_3922276.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/25/nyregion/25infiltrate.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
http://nymag.com/news/features/nypd-demographics-unit-2013-9/

Here are links to published documents that bear the designation:

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/NYPD/000102782.pdf
https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/779743/demographics-sports-venues.pdf

Both of the documents linked above carrying the warning, "THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT IS N.Y.P.D SECRET. IT IS INTENDED FOR OFFICIAL POLICE USE ONLY."

Such standardization typically points to an established procedure, guidance or other standard for applying the designation. Given the scrutiny (both internal and external) of the Demographics Unit in particular, I consider it incredibly unlikely that there exist no documents responsive to either component of my request. I respectfully request that you remand this request back to the FOIL Unit for an adequate search and release of the requested documents.

Best,

Shawn Musgrave

From: New York City Police Department

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.

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