Alleged Police Brutality Incident Involving Officer Matthew A. Seymour

Jordan Lassiter filed this request with the Potsdam Village Police Department of Potsdam, NY.
Awaiting Acknowledgement


From: Jordan Lassiter

Date: July 8, 2023

MuckRock News
DEPT MR 146407
263 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115

Village of Potsdam Police Department
38 Main Street
Potsdam, NY 13676
Attn: FOIA Officer

Subject: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request – Potsdam Police Officer Incident

Dear FOIA Officer,

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, I hereby request access to and copies of all records held by the Village of Potsdam Police Department pertaining to the incident involving Matthew A. Seymour, as described in the article titled "Potsdam police officer charged with choking person while in police station," published on April 28, 2023.

For the purpose of this request, the records I seek include, but are not limited to:

Copies of all incident reports, including but not limited to the initial incident report, subsequent investigative reports, and any related documentation.
Copies of any audio or video recordings, including but not limited to footage from surveillance cameras, body-worn cameras, or any other recording devices that captured the incident or its aftermath.
Any records of disciplinary actions taken against Matthew A. Seymour by the Village of Potsdam Police Department, including the notice of discipline signed by Mayor Ron Tischler on April 25, 2023.
Any correspondence or communication, including emails, letters, memoranda, or other written exchanges, between the Village of Potsdam Police Department, the St. Lawrence County District Attorney's Office, the county Sheriff's Office, and the state Attorney General's Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigation Office regarding this incident.
Any court documents, including the appearance ticket issued to Matthew A. Seymour for Potsdam Town Court, and any subsequent court proceedings or rulings related to this incident.
Any documents related to the order of protection issued for the victim involved in this incident.
Any records, reports, or findings from the 2015 investigation into the fatal stabbing at Swan Landing involving Matthew A. Seymour and Tian Ma.
Should any portion of the requested records be deemed exempt from disclosure, I request the release of any reasonably segregable non-exempt portions in accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 552(b). If an entire document is exempt, I request a justification, citing specific FOIA exemptions, and provision of an exemption log as per Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. 1973).

Please note your obligation under the law not to destroy any records potentially responsive to this request. Any withholding, redaction, or destruction of responsive records without proper justification constitutes a violation of the FOIA and is subject to litigation, as confirmed in Kissinger v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 445 U.S. 136, 150 (1980).

Furthermore, relevant state court cases have established the importance of transparency and the public interest in accessing such records. In Doe v. Karpa, 524 N.Y.S.2d 176 (N.Y. App. Div. 1988), the court recognized the public's right to access records related to police misconduct. Similarly, in Schreiber v. City of Potsdam, 637 N.Y.S.2d 148 (N.Y. App. Div. 1996), the court affirmed the public's interest in obtaining records regarding law enforcement actions.

As an independent investigative journalist associated with, I believe that the information I seek is in the public interest and its disclosure contributes significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government. Therefore, I kindly request a fee waiver for the processing of this request.

If the fee waiver is not accepted and there are any potential charges in excess of $200 associated with fulfilling my request, please inform me in advance.

As stipulated by the FOIA, I look forward to your response within twenty business days (5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i)).

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


Jordan Lassiter
Independent Investigative Journalist
Phone: +1 845-218-0299

Enclosure: Fee Waiver Request Letter

Please be aware: All communications related to this request, including incoming and outgoing communications, will be publicly available on Additionally, any correspondence in relation to this request will be instantly published on the platform.