Raw Video of Protest outside Turkish Embassy

Russel Neiss filed this request with the Broadcasting Board of Governors of the United States of America.
Tracking #


Est. Completion None
Awaiting Appeal


From: Russel Neiss

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

All original footage, full clips, unedited video, raw video, drafts, unfinished versions, source video, source audio, source media, 'B roll', and out-takes of, pertaining to, part of, or relating to the May 16th demonstration outside the Turkish Embassy in northwest Washington DC.

Selections from this footage has been shared on VOA Turkish, and through other VOA distribution channels (e.g. http://www.amerikaninsesi.com/a/washington-daki-olarlar-sirasinda-cumhurbaskani-erdogan-in-goruntuleri/3855933.html)

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, 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 20 business days, as the statute requires.


Russel Neiss

From: Broadcasting Board of Governors

The request has been rejected by the agency.

From: Broadcasting Board of Governors

The request has been rejected by the agency.

From: Russel Neiss

Reference Number FOIA17-054

This is an appeal pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(1990), concerning the Broadcasting Board of Governors ("BBG" or "Agency") refusal to disclose certain documents within its control. These documents are 9 raw footage video clips of a May 16, 2017 demonstration outside of the Turkish Embassy in Northwest Washington, D.C., and were requested on May, 18, 2017.

Unfortunately, by a letter dated June 27, 2017 (the date of which violated FOIA's 10 day response deadline, 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6(A)(i), 7 C.F.R. § 1.8(a), and 36 C.F.R. § 200.10), the Agency has refused to disclose any of the requested material. The stated basis is exemption 5, the so-called "deliberative process" exemption. 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(5).

To qualify for exemption 5 under the "deliberative process" privilege, a document must be both (1) "predecisional" or "antecedent to the adoption of agency policy," and (2) "deliberative," meaning "it must actually be related to the process by which agency policies are formulated." Jordan v. United States Department of Justice, 591 F.2d 753, 774 (D.C. Cir. 1978).

It is the requester's belief that the vast majority, if not all, of the materials in question, are subject to FOIA's mandatory release provisions. The documents consist of raw video feeds of a widely reported news incident which by themselves do not disclose any formulation of agency policy, nor document how decision-makers at the BBG engage in a deliberative process of making policy, nor are they shine any light on Voice of America's editorial review process. These records are therefore not deliberative in any manner. Further, as raw video clips, these documents are not "predecisional" or "antecedent to the adoption of agency policy," since they are not a part of crafting any policy, as they are created as a matter of course in the day-to-day production of BBG's and Voice of America's work.

Finally, exemption 5 places the burden upon the Agency to show that the information in question satisfies both requirements that the materials are “predecisional and deliberative,” Ancient Coin Collectors Guild v. U.S. Dep’t of State, 641 F.3d 504, 512 (D.C. Cir. 2011). The BBG has done neither in their rejection letter.

Thank you for your consideration of this appeal.