Bellevue PD SWAT shooting 2013-03-22: investigative file index (SPD)

Phil Mocek filed this request with the Seattle Police Department of Seattle, WA.
Tracking # P2013-1125
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Phil Mocek

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I hereby request the following records:

Index of records contained in the police investigation file for the March 22, 2013, incident during which members of the Bellevue Police Department SWAT unit Casey Hiam, Jacob Bement, and Jacob Childers executed a man at approximately 5:00 a.m. near South Hudson Street and 42nd Avenue South in the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.

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,

Phil Mocek

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

RE: Public Disclosure Request # P2013-1125

Dear Mr. Phil Mocek,

This letter is in response to your public disclosure request dated April 9, 2013 and received by Seattle Police Department on April 9, 2013 for index of records contained in the police investigation file for the March 22, 2013 incident during which members of the Bellevue Police Department SWAT unit: Casey Hiam, Jacob Bement, and Jacob Childers "executed" a man at approximately 5:00 am near South Hudson St and 42nd Ave S in the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle, Washington (incident number 13-96094). We will not be able to release information to you at this time. This case is under active investigation non-disclosure is essential to effective law enforcement. (RCW 42.56.240(1).) Explanation: The contents of an active investigation are categorically exempt in their entirety. See Newman v. King County, 133 Wn.2d 565, 947 P.2d 712 (1997) and Cowles Publishing Co. v. Spokane Police Department, 139 Wn.2d 472 987 P.2d 620 (1999).

We invite you to submit your request in 6-8 weeks for these records.

If you feel that this information has been withheld in error, you may file a written appeal of this response with the Chief of Police within ten (10) business days from the date of this letter. Please include your name and address and a copy of this letter together with a brief statement identifying the basis of the appeal. Please mail or deliver your appeal to:

Chief of Police
Seattle Police Department
PO Box 34986
Seattle, WA 98124-4986

This concludes the Seattle Police Department’s response to your request.

If you have any questions, please contact the Public Disclosure Desk at 206-684-5481.

From: Phil Mocek

RE: My public records request of April 9, 2013, P2013-1125

Dear Sir or Madam:

It seems that someone misread my request. On April 17, 2013, Chief of Police John Diaz wrote via e-mail, "We will not be able to release information to you at this time. [...] Explanation: The contents of an active investigation are categorically exempt in their entirety." I did not request the content of an investigation. I do not even know what the "contents of an investigation" means. I requested the index of records contained in a file. Please provide that index. Please provide all segregable portions of otherwise-exempt material.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Phil Mocek

RE: My public records request of April 9, 2013 (your identifier P2013-1125)

Dear Sir or Madam:

On April 17, 2013, Chief of Police John Diaz, rejecting my request, wrote via e-mail, "We will not be able to release information to you at this time. [...] Explanation: The contents of an active investigation are categorically exempt in their entirety." I did not request the content of an investigation. I do not even know what the "contents of an investigation" means. I requested the index of records contained in a file. Please provide that index. Please provide all segregable portions of otherwise-exempt material.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

PDR # P2013-1125

Mr. Mocek,

This is in response to your email on April 17, 2013. All items in an open and active investigation are categorically exempt from public disclosure, including the index for an open and active investigation pursuant to the following exemption: This case is under active investigation non-disclosure is essential to effective law enforcement. (RCW 42.56.240(1).) Explanation: The contents of an active investigation are categorically exempt in their entirety. See Newman v. King County, 133 Wn.2d 565, 947 P.2d 712 (1997) and Cowles Publishing Co. v. Spokane Police Department, 139 Wn.2d 472 987 P.2d 620 (1999).

Again, if you feel that this information has been withheld in error, you may file a written appeal of this response with the Chief of Police within ten (10) business days from the date of this letter. Please include your name and address and a copy of this letter together with a brief statement identifying the basis of the appeal. Please mail or deliver your appeal to:

From: Phil Mocek

RE: My public records request of April 9, 2013 (your identifier P2013-1125)

Dir Sir or Madam:

I appeal.

When denying my request in full, someone for your office anonymously claimed exemption of the record I requested and provided a brief explanation of withholding, citing RCW 42.56.240(1) as the sole reason for that withholding. [That paragraph][1] describes an exemption from public inspection and copying under RCW 42.56 for "Specific intelligence information and specific investigative records compiled by investigative, law enforcement, and penology agencies, and state agencies vested with the responsibility to discipline members of any profession, the nondisclosure of which is essential to effective law enforcement or for the protection of any person's right to privacy." Case law that person cited, Newman v. King County, 133 Wn.2d 565, 947 P.2d 712 (1997) and Cowles Publishing Co. v. Spokane Police Department, 139 Wn.2d 472 987 P.2d 620 (1999), concerns, respectively, the content of an investigative file and specific investigative records. I did not request specific intelligence information, specific investigative records, or the content of an investigative file.

[1]: <http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=42.56.240>
(RCW 42.56.240: Public Records Act: Investigative, law enforcement, and crime victims)

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Seattle Police Department

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Seattle Police Department

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.

From: Gloucester Police Department

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Seattle Police Department

An interim response, stating the request has been delayed

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 April 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

This request was completed on 04/17/2013, stating that the incident was an active investigation. If you would like to request for the report again, please re-submit a new a request.

Regards,

Jason Hardi #6563
Admin. Spec. II
Seattle Police Dept.
Public Request Unit
206-684-4848

From: Phil Mocek

RE: My public records request of April 9, 2013 (your identifier P2013-1125)

Dir Sir or Madam:

I received your anonymous e-mail of October 28, 2013. Could you and your colleagues please do me the courtesy of including a name with future correspondence?

As you noted, this request was completed on April 17 of this year. I appealed, and that appeal was [rejected by Shawna Skjonsberg-Fotopoulos][1] on June 11.

[1]: <https://www.muckrock.com/foi/seattle-69/bellevue-pd-swat-shooting-2013-03-22-investigative-file-index-spd-4902/#715928-appeal-rejected>

What triggered the auto-generated message you received from me on October 26 was [the printed, scanned, and e-mailed letter Ms. Skjonsberg-Fotopoulos sent on October 11][2]. In that letter, she provides an interim response to my appeal of a different request, P2013-2321. She sent that interim response letter to the wrong address, causing it to be filed with this (P2013-1125) request. I hope she will re-send it to the address provided with that other request so that progress on the other request will be tracked accurately.

[2]: <https://www.muckrock.com/foi/seattle-69/bellevue-pd-swat-shooting-2013-03-22-investigative-file-index-spd-4902/#805120-interim-response>

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

PDR # P2013-3437

Mr. Mocek,

The Department is considering this request to be a new/renewed request for a copy of the investigative file index for SPD Incident # 13-96094. Please see attached responsive record.

You may file a written appeal of this response with the Chief of Police within ten (10) business days from the date of this letter. Please include your name and address and a copy of this letter together with a brief statement identifying the basis of the appeal. Please mail or deliver your appeal to:

Chief of Police

Seattle Police Department

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