Use of force (response to resistance) guidance, policies, and data (Salem Police Department)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Salem Police Department of Salem, MA.
Multi Request Use of force (response to resistance) guidance, policies, and data
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records related to this agency's policies on and reporting of uses of force and responses to resistance:

• Policies.
Any and all policies guiding appropriate and inappropriate uses of force by any member or representative of this agency. These may also include “Response to Resistance” policies and similar guidance.

Please also provide all policies regarding the use of lethal, less-lethal, and non-lethal weapons (for example: TASERs pepper ball guns, rubber bullets, gases, sprays, water, etc.), including all policies regarding borrowing, accessing, or assuming responsibility for such weapons, tools, and ammunition.

Please also provide all policies or guidance related to reporting or tracking discharges from or uses of such weapons, as well as any other applicable policies or directives related to the acquisition, use, and reporting of weapons or tools.

Please also provide all policies and guidance used to evaluate any use of force or adjudicate administrative and internal investigations into any use of force or weapon discharge.

• Instructions for reporting. Any and all instructions and guidance related to the reporting of uses of force by any member or representative of this agency.

• Forms, coding descriptions, and other guidance.
All forms, codes, guides, and guidance used in the reporting and review of uses of force or weapons, including:
Any list of codes or definitions for terms or tags used in the reporting, collection, or review of uses of force.
A blank version of each form, log, and other documentation used to report or track uses of force by this agency.
A blank version of each form, log, and other documentation used to report or track the borrowing or use of lethal, less-lethal, and non-lethal weapons
A blank version of each form, log, and other documentation used to report or track any discharge of force from firearms, tools, or weapons employed by this agency
A copy of any guidance, requirements, laws, and policies issued by the state, including those issued as part of grant or other funding requirements, regarding this agency’s responsibilities for reportings uses of force or weapons
A copy of any guidance, requirements, laws, and policies issued by the federal government, including those issued as part of grant or other funding requirements, regarding this agency’s responsibilities for reportings uses of force or weapons

• Use of Force Data
For the period from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 and the period from January 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020, data on the each use of force by representatives of this agency, including but not limited to:
Date, time: The date (month, day, year) and time of the incident
Location: Street address, block, and other relevant location information
Subject(s) information: race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, resultant or related injuries sustained or alleged, weapon type (if applicable) in the possession of each involved individual, arrests or charges associated with the incident
Officer information (for each involved officer): employee number or other unique identifier used for the officer, race, resultant or related physical injuries, patrol division, unit
Incident details: incident or other unique identification number for the use of force incident
Type of force details: a description of each type of force used
Body camera or other footage: Inventory of any video record was created of the incident and/or a copy of the captured footage from all present cameras
Disposition of investigation into the incident: The current or final status of each use of force incident, including whether challenges to the use of force were sustained or dismissed or if the incident had no or is currently under investigation
Please provide the information as a csv spreadsheet, if possible, and if not possible, please provide incident reports sufficient to show the requested data.

• Discharge Report Data
For the period from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 and the period from January 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020, data on each discharge of a firearm and other weapons by representatives of this agency, including but not limited to:
Date, time: The date (month, day, year) and time of the incident
Location: Street address, block, and other relevant location information
Incident description and details
Tool or weapon used, including any unique identifier or identification number
Number of discharges
Subject(s) information: race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, resultant or related injuries sustained or alleged, weapon type (if applicable) in the possession of each involved individual, arrests or charges associated with the incident
Officer information (for each involved officer): employee number or other unique identifier used for the officer, race, resultant or related physical injuries, patrol division, unit
Type of force details: a description of each type of force used
Disposition or status of any investigation or follow-up review of the incident
Please provide the information as a csv spreadsheet, if possible, and if not possible, please provide incident reports sufficient to show the requested data.

If any portion of materials responsive to this request should be deemed unavailable or non-disclosable, please specifically identify the portions of the records or the specific information that is unavailable and the reason for the unavailability.

If any portion of this request is unclear or if this request could be modified to reduce the burden of producing responsive documents or provide them more efficiently or expeditiously, please reply with a request for clarification or a proposed modification.

This request is being made by a reporter as part of a journalistic investigation. It is being submitted as part of a project to better understand uses of police force nationwide, which has been of public interest for many years and which is of particular interest to large new swaths of the public following the widely-seen death of George Floyd and the First Amendment-protected demonstrations and public discussion that have followed. There is no commercial interest in the submission of this request or the release of these records.

In the event that there are fees appropriately assessed in association with this request, 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 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Beryl Lipton

From: Salem Police Department

Good Evening,
The Salem Police Department hereby petitions the Supervisor of Public Records for approval to assess fees for costs associated with responding to a public records request submitted by Beryl Lipton on July 29, 2020. Ten business days expires on August 12, 2020. Please review the attached document. If you have any questions, please call or email me.
Sincerely,
Frederick M. Ryan
Captain Frederick M. Ryan
Special Services Division Commander
SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT
95 Margin Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-0171 x 50138
fryan@salempd.net
<mailto:jconnors@salempd.net>
________________________________
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From: Salem Police Department

Good Evening Beryl Lipton,
I have received your records request (twice - copy under 99366-95252687) and have made an initial inquiry relating to it. Given the limited number of responsive documents for items #1 through #3 and #5, the Department will be able to respond to these items with approximately two hours of labor and will not seek fees for those items. However, with respect to #4, the Department conducted a search of these reports and there are over 154 of them. A good faith estimate for the work hours (@$25/hour) is 154 use of force reports in which it will take approximately 10 minutes to compile, segregate, redact, and reproduce the redacted report which equals 25.66 hours times $25/hr totaling approximately $641). I suggest a reasonable modification of the scope of the request and ask you to narrow down the time frame.
You may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedure set forth in 950 C.M.R. 32.08, a copy of which is available at http://www.mass.gov/courts/case-legal-res/law-lib/laws-by-source/cmr/. You may also file a civil action in accordance with M.G.L. c. 66, § 10A(a).

Frederick M. Ryan
Captain Frederick M. Ryan
Special Services Division Commander
SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT
95 Margin Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-0171 x 50138
fryan@salempd.net
<mailto:jconnors@salempd.net>

From: Salem Police Department

Hi Capt. Ryan,

Can you provide a copy of the original request?

Thank you,

Lauren Foley
Staff Attorney
Public Records Division
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Lauren.Foley@sec.state.ma.us<mailto:Lauren.Foley@sec.state.ma.us>

From: Salem Police Department

Good Evening,
I attached the .csv files you requested in items #1 through #3 and #5. Item #4 is still awaiting determination from the Massachusetts Public Records Division. Please respond so I can confirm receipt.

You may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedure set forth in 950 C.M.R. 32.08, a copy of which is available at http://www.mass.gov/courts/case-legal-res/law-lib/laws-by-source/cmr/. You may also file a civil action in accordance with M.G.L. c. 66, § 10A(a).

Sincerely,
Frederick M. Ryan
Captain Frederick M. Ryan
Special Services Division Commander
SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT
95 Margin Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-0171 x 50138
fryan@salempd.net
<mailto:jconnors@salempd.net>

From: Salem Police Department

Good Morning Beryl Lipton,
I attached the .csv files you requested in items #1 through #3 and #5. These were emailed to you on 8/12/20 and I asked for a response from you which I have not received as of today. I am in the process of collecting, redacting, segregating, and converting the records related to Item #4. I anticipate completing this on Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Be advised that the use of force reports are in a pdf format, however the corresponding reports related to each form will be in .csv format. If you have any questions, please call or email me. Again, please respond to this email so I can acknowledge your receipt. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Frederick M. Ryan
Captain Frederick M. Ryan
Special Services Division Commander
SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT
95 Margin Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-0171 x 50138
fryan@salempd.net
<mailto:jconnors@salempd.net>

From: Salem Police Department

Good Morning Beryl Lipton,
As a result of your request I checked our in-house records management system (RMS) and did locate 77 use of force incidents during the time frame. We have denied your access to 12 of these reports because they are medical-related in which the majority are mental health calls. They are exempt pursuant to G.L. c 4, sec. 7, cl 26(c) (privacy exemption) due nature of this record or information the disclosure of which may constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The release of these reports would re-victimize the involved parties. They would cause embarrassment and ridicule to these unfortunate victims.
We have also denied your access to 6 use of force incidents during the time frame because they are domestic-related in which the majority are of an intimate relationship and they are communications between a police officer and victim(s) of a domestic dispute. G.L. c. 41. s 97D provides that these records, along with all communications between police officers and victims of such offenses or abuse shall not be public reports and shall be maintained by the police department in a manner that shall assure their confidentiality. These reports are exempt under G. L. c. 4 s 7(26)(a) - The Statutory Exemption.
Lastly, we have denied your access to 4 use of force incidents during this time frame because they have juveniles as the victims. These reports are exempt under G. L. c. 4 s 7(26)(a) - The Statutory Exemption. Release of these reports would violate the Massachusetts juvenile reform act intentions to abstain juveniles from further embarrassment and victimization.
I have attached the pdfs of the use of force reports. I will send the related csv reports in a follow up email and hopefully it won't get blocked due to it's large size. Please respond so I know you received this email.
If you wish to challenge any aspect of this response, you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedure set forth in 950 C.M.R. 32.08, a copy of which is available at http://www.mass.gov/courts/case-legal-res/law-lib/laws-by-source/cmr/. You may also file a civil action in accordance with M.G.L. c. 66, § 10A(a).

Frederick M. Ryan
Captain Frederick M. Ryan
Special Services Division Commander
SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT
95 Margin Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-0171 x 50138
fryan@salempd.net
<mailto:jconnors@salempd.net>

From: Salem Police Department

Good Evening Beryl Lipton,
As a result of your request I checked our in-house records management system (RMS) and did locate 77 use of force incidents during the time frame. We have denied your access to 12 of these reports because they are medical-related in which the majority are mental health calls. They are exempt pursuant to G.L. c 4, sec. 7, cl 26(c) (privacy exemption) due nature of this record or information the disclosure of which may constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The release of these reports would re-victimize the involved parties. They would cause embarrassment and ridicule to these unfortunate victims.
We have also denied your access to 6 use of force incidents during the time frame because they are domestic-related in which the majority are of an intimate relationship and they are communications between a police officer and victim(s) of a domestic dispute. G.L. c. 41. s 97D provides that these records, along with all communications between police officers and victims of such offenses or abuse shall not be public reports and shall be maintained by the police department in a manner that shall assure their confidentiality. These reports are exempt under G. L. c. 4 s 7(26)(a) - The Statutory Exemption.
Lastly, we have denied your access to 4 use of force incidents during this time frame because they have juveniles as the victims. These reports are exempt under G. L. c. 4 s 7(26)(a) - The Statutory Exemption. Release of these reports would violate the Massachusetts juvenile reform act intentions to abstain juveniles from further embarrassment and victimization.
I have attached some of csv reports to this email. Hopefully it won't get blocked due to it's large size. I will be sending another email with more. Please respond so I know you received this email.
If you wish to challenge any aspect of this response, you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedure set forth in 950 C.M.R. 32.08, a copy of which is available at http://www.mass.gov/courts/case-legal-res/law-lib/laws-by-source/cmr/. You may also file a civil action in accordance with M.G.L. c. 66, § 10A(a).

Frederick M. Ryan
Captain Frederick M. Ryan
Special Services Division Commander
SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT
95 Margin Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-0171 x 50138
fryan@salempd.net
<mailto:jconnors@salempd.net>

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From: Salem Police Department

Good Evening Beryl Lipton,
As a result of your request I checked our in-house records management system (RMS) and did locate 77 use of force incidents during the time frame. We have denied your access to 12 of these reports because they are medical-related in which the majority are mental health calls. They are exempt pursuant to G.L. c 4, sec. 7, cl 26(c) (privacy exemption) due nature of this record or information the disclosure of which may constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The release of these reports would re-victimize the involved parties. They would cause embarrassment and ridicule to these unfortunate victims.
We have also denied your access to 6 use of force incidents during the time frame because they are domestic-related in which the majority are of an intimate relationship and they are communications between a police officer and victim(s) of a domestic dispute. G.L. c. 41. s 97D provides that these records, along with all communications between police officers and victims of such offenses or abuse shall not be public reports and shall be maintained by the police department in a manner that shall assure their confidentiality. These reports are exempt under G. L. c. 4 s 7(26)(a) - The Statutory Exemption.
Lastly, we have denied your access to 4 use of force incidents during this time frame because they have juveniles as the victims. These reports are exempt under G. L. c. 4 s 7(26)(a) - The Statutory Exemption. Release of these reports would violate the Massachusetts juvenile reform act intentions to abstain juveniles from further embarrassment and victimization.
I have attached a second and final email of csv reports and hopefully it won't get blocked due to it's large size. Please respond so I know you received this email.
If you wish to challenge any aspect of this response, you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedure set forth in 950 C.M.R. 32.08, a copy of which is available at http://www.mass.gov/courts/case-legal-res/law-lib/laws-by-source/cmr/. You may also file a civil action in accordance with M.G.L. c. 66, § 10A(a).

Frederick M. Ryan
Captain Frederick M. Ryan
Special Services Division Commander
SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT
95 Margin Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-0171 x 50138
fryan@salempd.net
<mailto:jconnors@salempd.net>

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From: Salem Police Department

Good Afternoon Beryl Lipton,
I have sent you three emails today fulfilling your records request. They have numerous attachments and I am requesting that you acknowledge receipt so I can confirm that you received them.

Frederick M. Ryan
Captain Frederick M. Ryan
Special Services Division Commander
SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT
95 Margin Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
(978) 744-0171 x 50138
fryan@salempd.net
<mailto:jconnors@salempd.net>

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