Stop and Frisk Reports (NYPD)

Zack Sampson filed this request with the New York City Police Department of New York City, NY.
Tracking # 13PL108087
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Zack Sampson

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:

All stop and frisk reports filed between Januaray 1, 2013 and the date this request is processed. According to the NYPD Subject Matter List from March 2nd, 1999, the stop and frisk reports are document number PD 344-151.

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,

Zack Sampson

From: New York City Police Department

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: New York City Police Department

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

From: Zack Sampson

Jonathan David
Records Access Appeals Officer
New York City Police Department
One Police Plaza-Room1406
New York, NY 10038-1497

December 6, 2013

Mr. David:

This is an appeal of the denial of records in FOIL 2013-PL-8087.

This denial was made on, at best, very shaky ground. The New York Supreme Court decided as such in 2008 when it awarded the NYCLU with access to a redacted database of stop and frisk reports. In that decision (see it here: http://www.nyclu.org/files/NYCLU_v_NYPD_Stop_Frisk_Database_Ruling_05.29.08.pdf), the court wrote, “With proper redaction of personal information concerning the officers who made the stop and/or the individuals stopped, the records are clearly subject to FOIL diclosure and the NYPD has not met its burden to show that the database falls squarely within the claimed exemptions.”

Earlier in that same decision, the court wrote, “It is well settled that government records, including police records, are presumptively open for public inspection and copying unless they fall within one of the exemptions of Public Officers Law 87 (2).” The NYPD seems to ignore this presumption and repeatedly rejects records requests based on an incredibly broad interpretation of the Public Officers Law, which sometimes involves selective quoting of sections that seem to support secrecy when context, and the presumption of openness, is removed. The NYPD’s quick denial of FOIL 2013-PL-8087 is another example of these bullyish practices, which routinely make a mockery of the New York State Freedom of Information Law.

In this case, the NYPD said disclosure of stop-and-frisk reports would a) “constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” and b) “interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings.” The records officer offered no further explanation.

Please direct the NYPD FOIL Office to process my request based on judicial precedent and basic understanding of the New York Freedom of Information Law.

Thank you,

Zack Sampson

Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 8694
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

PLEASE NOTE the new address as well as the fact that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than MuckRock News) requests might be returned by the USPS as undeliverable.

From: New York City Police Department

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

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