Police dept internal investigations of Cynthia A. Whitlatch #6229

Phil Mocek filed this request with the Seattle Police Department of Seattle, WA.
Tracking # P2015-6167
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:

The full and complete content of every Seattle Police Department Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) investigative file in which Cynthia A. Whitlatch #6229 was a named officer at any point in the investigation, along with associated metadata.

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

PDR # P2015-0649

Mr. Mocek,

This email is in response to your public disclosure request. The Department will need additional time to respond to your request. At this time, the Department anticipates having an installment of records ready on or about February 20, 2015.

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

Thank you,
Sheila

Sheila Friend Gray
Public Disclosure Unit Manager
Seattle Police Department
206-733-9313
Sheila.FriendGray@Seattle.gov

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

PDR # P2015-0649

Mr. Mocek,

This email is in further response to your public disclosure request. The Department has interpreted your request to be for copy of all complaints filed against Officer Whitlatch. If this is not correct, please clarify your request. The Department has your first installment of complaints filed against Officer Whitlatch ready to be picked up at the Public Request Unit front counter, 1st floor of Seattle Police Department Headquarters, 610 5th Ave. Their business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-5:00PM.

A search of the records in our Internal Investigations Section/Office of Professional Accountability, resulted in 15 complaints filed against Officer Whitlatch.

In this installment: complete file for SA OPA 2014-0425 and the paper records for the following complaints: SA 13-0044, IIS 13-0343, IIS 13-0104 and IIS 14-0100. The media files for those 4 complaints will be provided in your next installment.

The fee for this installment is $1.00 for one CD @ $1.00/CD.

If you are unable to pick up your request, please send a check payable to the City of Seattle for $1.60 (to cover postage) with a copy of this email to:

Seattle Police Department
Attn: Public Request Unit
PO Box 34986
Seattle, WA 98124-4986

At this time, the Department anticipates having your next installment ready on or about March 11, 2015.

The Department has not prepared a detailed exemption log for records because only limited information has been redacted from the responsive records. The information normally provided in an exemption log, such as title, author, recipient, subject, and number of pages, is readily ascertainable by looking at the redacted records. Redactions have been applied throughout the documents pursuant to the following exemptions:
DOL Records: Records contain information that was received from the State Department of Licensing (DOL), disclosure of which Is restricted or prohibited. Disclosure of an individual vehicle owner’s name and address, driver’s license number and VIN to Third parties is limited under RCW 46.12.635 (See also, 18 USC § 2721). Criminal justice agencies in Washington State, such as SPD, have access to DOL vehicle records through the Washington State Patrol “A Central Computerized Enforcement Service System” (ACCESS). ACCESS procedures provide that criminal justice agencies have access to DOL vehicle records for criminal justice purposes and prohibit communication or dissemination to private individuals or companies for other than criminal justice purposes. While SPD is prohibited from providing this information to you, you correctly observe that RCW 46.12.635 allows certain individuals, businesses and government Agencies access to it. Your request for access, however, must be directed to DOL. We direct you to the State Department of Licensing website (http://www.dol.wa.gov/), forms section, for “Vehicle/Vessel Information Disclosure Request.” RCW 46.52.130 prohibits release to third parties of abstract and certified copies of driving records. Driver’s license photographs and medical or disability information is “highly restricted personal information” and may not be released to third parties under 18 USC § 2721. Explanation: Disclosure of information is statutorily restricted/prohibited and would violate the subject’s right to privacy. The information could be used identity theft, fraud or other criminal activity.
Jail Records/Booking Photos: The records contain booking photos and other jail records. RCW 70.48.100 prohibits the disclosure of the records of a person confined in jail. Explanation: Disclosure of information is statutorily prohibited.
Requested Nondisclosure: Complainant, victim or witness requested the information not be disclosed. (RCW 42.560.240(2)). Explanation: The complainant’s, victim’s, or witness’s indication at the time of the complaint controls the determination whether to disclose.
Employment Numbers: Disclosing an employment number in conjunction with the employee’s name would violate his/her right to privacy. See, Tacoma Public Library v. Woessner, 90 Wn.App. 205, 219, 951 P.2d 357 (1998). Explanation: Disclosure of this information could violate an individual’s right to privacy, and could be used for identity theft, fraud or other criminal activity.
Social Security Numbers: Record contains Social Security Numbers. Social Security Numbers of agency employees, volunteers, and their dependents are specifically exempt(RCW 42.56.250(3)). Social Security Numbers of all individuals are also exempt under Federal law. (26 U.S.C. § 6103, another statute under RCW 42.56.070) Statutorily prohibit: Disclosure of SSN’s is prohibited by Federal statute and SSN’s could be used for identity theft, fraud or other criminal activity
Toxicology Tests: Results of toxicology submitted to at the request of a police officer are protected. RCW 46.61.506(5) and (7) and/or RCW 70.02.020. Explanation: Disclosure of information is statutorily prohibited and would violate the subject’s right to privacy.
WACIC Information: Washington Crime Information Center (WACIC) is a centralized state computerized index of criminal justice information (i.e., criminal record history information, fugitives, stolen properties, missing persons) associated with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) available to Federal, state, and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies for law enforcement purposes. Information obtained from WACIC/NCIC is exempt from disclosure under RCW 42.56.070 and RCW 43.43.710. Explanation: Dissemination is statutorily prohibited.

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

Thank you,
Sheila

Sheila Friend Gray
Public Disclosure Unit Manager
Seattle Police Department
206-733-9313
Sheila.FriendGray@Seattle.gov<mailto:Sheila.FriendGray@Seattle.gov>

From: MuckRock

To Whom It May Concern:

Please find enclosed a check for $1.60 to satisfy the fee associated with the attached public records request.

Thank you.

From: Seattle Police Department

A first set of responsive documents from the agency, with more to be sent at a specified date.

From: Seattle Police Department

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

PDR # P2015-0649

Mr. Mocek,

This email is in further response to your public disclosure request. The Department has your next installment of complaints filed against Officer Whitlatch ready to be picked up at the Public Request Unit front counter, 1st floor of Seattle Police Department Headquarters, 610 5th Ave. Their business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-5:00PM.

In this installment: media files for IIS 13-0104, IIS 14-0100 and IIS 13-0343. There were no media files for SA 13-0044. Also in this installment is the investigation summary for SR 11-0134. The original file could not be located at this time. And finally you received additional files that are responsive to this request under your other PDR # P2015-2441.

In addition, the Department has 6 contact logs and what is available for five open OPA cases. Please note that the Department is releasing what was available at the time of your request for the five open OPA cases. You will need to file a new PDR, if you are interested in getting the final outcome and the rest of the investigation once each one is completed.

The fee for this installment is $3.00 for three DVD/CDs @ $1.00/DVD.

If you are unable to pick up your request, please send a check payable to the City of Seattle for $3.60 (to cover postage) with a copy of this email to:

Seattle Police Department
Attn: Public Request Unit
PO Box 34986
Seattle, WA 98124-4986

At this time, the Department anticipates having your next installment ready on or about March 25, 2015.

The Department has not prepared a detailed exemption log for records because only limited information has been redacted from the responsive records. The information normally provided in an exemption log, such as title, author, recipient, subject, and number of pages, is readily ascertainable by looking at the redacted records. Redactions have been applied throughout the IIS files pursuant to the following exemptions:
DOL Records: Records contain information that was received from the State Department of Licensing (DOL), disclosure of which Is restricted or prohibited.
Disclosure of an individual vehicle owner’s name and address, driver’s license number and VIN to Third parties is limited under RCW 46.12.635 (See also, 18
USC § 2721). Criminal justice agencies in Washington State, such as SPD, have access to DOL vehicle records through the Washington State Patrol “A Central Computerized Enforcement Service System” (ACCESS). ACCESS procedures provide that criminal justice agencies have access to DOL vehicle records for criminal justice purposes and prohibit communication or dissemination to private individuals or companies for other than criminal justice purposes. While SPD is prohibited from providing this information to you, you correctly observe that RCW 46.12.635 allows certain individuals, businesses and government Agencies access to it. Your request for access, however, must be directed to DOL. We direct you to the State Department of Licensing website (http://www.dol.wa.gov/), forms section, for a “Vehicle/Vessel Information Disclosure Request.”RCW 46.52.130 prohibits release to third parties of abstract and certified copies of driving records. Driver’s license photographs and medical or disability information is “highly restricted personal information” and may not be released to third parties under 18 USC § 2721. Explanation: Disclosure of information is statutorily restricted/prohibited and would violate the subject’s right to privacy. The information could be used identity theft, fraud or other criminal activity.
Employment Numbers: Disclosing an employment number in conjunction with the employee’s name would violate his/her right to privacy. See, Tacoma Public Library v. Woessner, 90 Wn.App. 205, 219, 951 P.2d 357 (1998). Explanation: Disclosure of this information could violate an individual’s right to privacy, and could be used for identity theft, fraud or other criminal activity.
WACIC Information: Washington Crime Information Center (WACIC) is a centralized state computerized index of criminal justice information (i.e., criminal record history information, fugitives, stolen properties, missing persons) associated with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) available to Federal, state, and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies for law enforcement purposes. Information obtained from WACIC/NCIC is exempt from disclosure under RCW 42.56.070 and RCW 43.43.710. Explanation: Dissemination is statutorily prohibited.

Social Security Numbers: Record contains Social Security Numbers. Social Security Numbers of agency employees, volunteers, and their dependents are specifically exempt.(RCW 42.56.250(3)). Social Security Numbers of all individuals are also exempt under Federal law. (26 U.S.C. § 6103, another statute under RCW 42.56.070) Statutorily prohibit: Disclosure of SSN’s is prohibited by Federal statute and SSN’s could be used for identity theft, fraud or other criminal activity.

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

Thank you,
Sheila

Sheila Friend Gray
Public Disclosure Unit Manager
Seattle Police Department
206-733-9313
Sheila.FriendGray@Seattle.gov

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

PDR # P2015-0649

Mr. Mocek,

This email is in further response to your public disclosure request. The Department has your next installment of complaints filed against Officer Whitlatch ready to be picked up at the Public Request Unit front counter, 1st floor of Seattle Police Department Headquarters, 610 5th Ave. Their business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-5:00PM.

In this installment: II S11-0253, SR 11-0491, SA 12-0584 and IIS 13-0483

The fee for this installment is $1.00 for one CD @ $1.00/CD.

If you are unable to pick up your request, please send a check payable to the City of Seattle for $1.60 (to cover copying fee and postage) with a copy of this email to:

Seattle Police Department

Attn: Public Request Unit

PO Box 34986

Seattle, WA 98124-4986

The Department has not prepared a detailed exemption log for records because only limited information has been redacted from the responsive records. The information normally provided in an exemption log, such as title, author, recipient, subject, and number of pages, is readily ascertainable by looking at the redacted records. Redactions have been applied throughout the IIS files pursuant to the following exemptions:
For IIS 11-0253:
DOL Records: Records contain information that was received from the State Department of Licensing (DOL), disclosure of which Is restricted or prohibited. Disclosure of an individual vehicle
owner’s name and address, driver’s license number and VIN to Third parties is limited under RCW 46.12.635 (See also, 18 USC § 2721). Criminal justice agencies in Washington State, such as SPD,
have access to DOL vehicle records through the Washington State Patrol “A Central Computerized Enforcement Service System” (ACCESS). ACCESS procedures provide that criminal justice
agencies have access to DOL vehicle records for criminal justice purposes and prohibit communication or dissemination to private individuals or companies for other than criminal justice
purposes. While SPD is prohibited from providing this information to you, you correctly observe that RCW 46.12.635 allows certain individuals, businesses and government Agencies access to
it. Your request for access, however, must be directed to DOL. We direct you to the State Department of Licensing website (http://www.dol.wa.gov/), forms section, for a “Vehicle/Vessel
Information Disclosure Request.” RCW 46.52.130 prohibits release to third parties of abstract and certified copies of driving records. Driver’s license photographs and medical or disability
information is “highly restricted personal information” and may not be released to third parties under 18 USC § 2721. Explanation: Disclosure of information is statutorily restricted/prohibited
and would violate the subject’s right to privacy. The information could be used identity theft, fraud or other criminal activity.

Social Security Numbers: Record contains Social Security Numbers. Social Security Numbers of agency employees, volunteers, and their dependents are specifically exempt.(RCW 42.56.250(3)). Social Security Numbers of all individuals are also exempt under Federal law. (26 U.S.C. § 6103, another statute under RCW 42.56.070) Statutorily prohibit: Disclosure of SSN’s is prohibited by Federal statute and SSN’s could be used for identity theft, fraud or other criminal activity.
Jail Records/Booking Photos: The records contain booking photos and other jail records. RCW 70.48.100 prohibits the disclosure of the records of a person confined in jail. Explanation: Disclosure of information is statutorily prohibited.
For IIS 13-0483:
Privacy: Record includes information the non-disclosure of which is essential for the protection of any person’s right to privacy. (RCW 42.56.240(1) as defined by RCW 42.56.050).
Explanation: Disclosure of the information would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and is of no legitimate interest to the public.

You may file a written appeal of this response with the SPD’s Legal Unit within ten (10) business days from the date of receipt. Please include your name and address, a copy of the redacted document and a copy of this letter together with a brief statement identifying the basis of the appeal. Please mail or deliver your appeal to:

Seattle Police Department

Attn: Legal Unit

610 Fifth Avenue

P.O. Box 34986

Seattle, WA 98124-4986

This concludes the Department’s response to your request.

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

Thank you,

Sheila

Sheila Friend Gray
Public Disclosure Unit Manager
Seattle Police Department
206-733-9313
Sheila.FriendGray@Seattle.gov<mailto:Sheila.FriendGray@Seattle.gov>

From: MuckRock

To Whom It May Concern:

Please find enclosed a check for $5.20 to satisfy the fee associated with the attached public records request.

Thank you.

From: Seattle Police Department

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Seattle Police Department

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Seattle Police Department

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Seattle Police Department

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Seattle Police Department

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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 Jan. 30, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-0649.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

The records were mailed last week.

From: Phil Mocek

I appeal your response to public records request #2015-0649.

In e-mail to me, your staff stated that your agency "has interpreted [my] request to be for copy of all complaints filed against Officer Whitlatch." That is incorrect. On January 30, 20125, I requested the "full and complete content of every Seattle Police Department Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) investigative file in which Cynthia A. Whitlatch #6229 was a named officer at any point in the investigation, along with associated metadata."

By reinterpreting my clearly-stated request in this manner, you narrowed the scope of the request. You should have provided each OPA investigative file in which Ms. Whitlatch was a named officer at any point in the investigation, regardless of against whom any complaint was made, and regardless of whether a complaint was made at all.

I suspect that the set of records I requested on consists not only of files for investigations resulting from complaints about Ms. Whitlatch's actions, but also files of investigations that resulted from complaints filed against officers other than Ms. Whitlatch. Investigation of a complaint about one officer might have led to research into Ms. Whitlatch's actions, causing her to be a named officer in that investigation.

Or, someone might have notified OPA of a complaint before the name of the subject of the complaint was known, in which case Ms. Whitlatch would have become a named officer in that investigation when her identity was later discovered by investigators.

Also, a relevant investigation might have been performed not as the result of a complaint, but for reasons such as a request from management staff (e.g., Kathleen O'Toole's recent requests for OPA investigation of the policing of "Black Lives Matter" demonstrations and [for OPA investigation of departmental handling of Ms. Whitlatch's 2014 "walking while black" arrest of William Wingate][1]).

[1]: <https://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2015/01/28/seattle-police-chief-kathleen-otoole-orders-review-of-officer-cynthia-whitlatchs-conduct>

From past experience, I know that "named officer" is a term used by your agency to refer to an officer who was involved in an internally-investigated incident in any of a number of roles. I used your own terminology. This indicates that your narrowing of my request was not the result of miscommunication, but of willful withholding of public records I requested. Ms. Whitlatch was involved in at least one high-profile incident of misconduct. I believe your narrowing of my request was an attempt to shield from public view your agency's history of ignoring this employee's pattern of misconduct.

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 received and is being processed.

From: Seattle Police Department

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Seattle Police Department

A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.

Files

pages

Close