Taser Reports (NYPD)

Zack Sampson filed this request with the New York City Police Department of New York City, NY.
Tracking # 2013-PL-8084
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 taser 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 taser reports are document number PD 304-150.

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: 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 Oct. 30, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-PL-8084.

Thank you for your help.

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: 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 Oct. 30, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-PL-8084.

Thank you for your help.

From: Zack Sampson

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

December 20, 2013

FOIL Appeal 2013-PL-8084

I appeal the rejection of this request. I asked for Taser Reports for the last year, and the Records Access Officer listed several irrelevant statutes in denying my request.

First, the officer denied my request pursuant to Sect. 160.50 of the Criminal Procedure Law. A quick search indicates that this statute specifically pertains to the “order upon termination of criminal action in favor of the accused.” A denial of the request based on this statute, which details the handling of records after a defendant wins his or her court case, would seem to imply that every person tased by an NYPD officer in the last year has finished and won his or her court proceedings. That is improbable.

Second, the officer denied my request pursuant to the NY Civil Rights Law 50-a, which relates to the personnel records of police officers, firefighters and corrections officers. This statute says: “All personnel records, used to evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion, under the control of any police agency or department of the state or any political subdivision thereof including authorities or agencies maintaining police forces of individuals defined as police officers in section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law and such personnel records under the control of a sheriff's department or a department of correction of individuals employed as correction officers and such personnel records under the control of a paid fire department or force of individuals employed as firefighters or firefighter/paramedics and such personnel records under the control of the division of parole for individuals defined as peace officers pursuant to subdivisions twenty-three and twenty-three-a of section 2.10 of the criminal procedure law shall be considered confidential and not subject to inspection or review without the express written consent of such police officer, firefighter, firefighter/paramedic, correction officer or peace officer within the division of parole except as may be mandated by lawful court order.” Personnel evaluation is not the primary function of the requested reports, and this statute is likewise not applicable.

Lastly, the officer denied my request pursuant to the Public Officers Law section 87(2)(b) and 87(2)(g). Section 87(2)(b) states that a denial of records is legitimate when the documents, “if disclosed would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy under the provisions of subdivision two of section eighty-nine of this article.” Turning to subdivision two of section eighty-nine: “The committee on public access to records may promulgate guidelines regarding deletion of identifying details or withholding of records otherwise available under this article to prevent unwarranted, invasions of personal privacy. In the absence of such guidelines, an
agency may delete identifying details when it makes records available.
(b) An unwarranted invasion of personal privacy includes, but shall
not be limited to:
i. disclosure of employment, medical or credit histories or personal
references of applicants for employment;
ii. disclosure of items involving the medical or personal records of a
client or patient in a medical facility;
iii. sale or release of lists of names and addresses if such lists
would be used for commercial or fund-raising purposes;
iv. disclosure of information of a personal nature when disclosure
would result in economic or personal hardship to the subject party and
such information is not relevant to the work of the agency requesting or
maintaining it; or
v. disclosure of information of a personal nature reported in
confidence to an agency and not relevant to the ordinary work of such
agency; or
vi. information of a personal nature contained in a workers'
compensation record, except as provided by section one hundred ten-a of
the workers' compensation law.
(c) Unless otherwise provided by this article, disclosure shall not be
construed to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision:
i. when identifying details are deleted;
ii. when the person to whom a record pertains consents in writing to
disclosure;
iii. when upon presenting reasonable proof of identity, a person seeks
access to records pertaining to him.”
The disclosure of Taser Reports simply will not constitute an invasion of privacy according to any of these standards.

Lastly 87(2)(g) says a denial is in order if records “are inter-agency or intra-agency materials which are not:
i. statistical or factual tabulations or data;
ii. instructions to staff that affect the public;
iii. final agency policy or determinations;
iv. external audits, including but not limited to audits performed by
the comptroller and the federal government.”

The Committee on Open Government has further defined inter-agency and intra-agency materials (http://docs.dos.ny.gov/coog/ftext/f8552.htm): “‘inter-agency materials’ would involve written communications between or among officials of two or more agencies; ‘intra-agency materials’ would consist of communications between or among officials within an agency.” The requested reports do not comprise communications as outlined in this provision, but rather final action reports. Once again, the quoted provision is not applicable, and thus the request rejection must be reversed.

The denial of this records request fails even to approach reasonable invocation of exemptions. Please provide the requested documents.

Thank you,
Zack Sampson

cc: New York Committee on Open Government

From: New York City Police Department

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.

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