|Aug. 20, 2020
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
Electronic copies of all use of force reports or incident reports filed by DHS agents in relation to protests outside the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon between July 16 and Aug. 1 2020. Please search reports filed by the Federal Protective Services and Customs and Border Protection.
According to a 2017 OIG audit  -- which may contain dated material:
1. "The CBP Office of Training and Development’s Use of Force Center of Excellence maintains records of reportable incidents in the electronic CBP Use of Force Reporting System. "
2. "According to an Internal Affairs Division official, investigation cases are housed in a Microsoft Access database and hard copies. The FPS Incident Review Committee must rely on the regions to provide documentation on incidents."
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.
411A Highland Ave
Sommerville, MA, 02144
Dear Jacob Fenton:
This notice acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) received on 09/03/2020. Please use the following unique FOIA tracking number CBP-2020-077813 to track the status of your request. If you have not already done so, you must create a FOIAonline account at https://foiaonline.gov. This is the only method available to check the status of your pending FOIA request. (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/)
Provisions of the Act allow us to recover part of the cost of complying with your request. We shall charge you for records in accordance with the DHS FOIA regulations outlined on the DHS website, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/11/22/2016-28095/freedom-of-information-act-regulations. By submitting your request, you have agreed to pay up to $25.00 in applicable processing fees, if any fees associated with your request exceed this amount, CBP shall contact you; however, the first 100 pages are free. (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/11/22/2016-28095/freedom-of-information-act-regulations)
Due to the increasing number of FOIA requests received by this office, we may encounter some delay in processing your request. Consistent with 6 C.F.R. Part 5 § 5.5(a) of the DHS FOIA regulations, CBP processes FOIA requests according to their order of receipt. Although CBP’s goal is to respond within 20 business days of receipt of your request, FOIA does permit a 10-day extension of this time period in certain circumstances pursuant to 6 C.F.R. Part 5 § 5.5(c). [As your request seeks documents that will require a thorough and wide-ranging search, CBP will invoke a 10-day extension for your request pursuant to 6 C.F.R. Part 5 § 5.5(c). If you would like to narrow the scope of your request, please contact our office. We will make every effort to comply with your request in a timely manner.] OR [As your request seeks a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records, CBP will invoke a 10-day extension for your request pursuant to 6 C.F.R. Part 5 § 5.5(c). If you would like to narrow the scope of your request, please contact our office. We will make every effort to comply with your request in a timely manner.] OR [As the subject matter of your request is of substantial interest to two or more components of CBP or of substantial interest to another agency, we will need to consult with those entities before we issue a final response. Due to these unusual circumstances, CBP will invoke a 10-day extension for your request pursuant to 6 C.F.R. Part 5 § 5.5(c). If you would like to narrow the scope of your request, please contact our office. We will make every effort to comply with your request in a timely manner.]
CBP’s FOIA Division is working hard to reduce the amount of time necessary to respond to FOIA requests. We truly appreciate your continued patience.
For additional information please consult CBP FOIA website please click on FOIA Act Resources or visit (http://www.cbp.gov/site-policy-notices/foia) http://www.cbp.gov/site-policy-notices/foia. (http://www.cbp.gov/site-policy-notices/foia)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Please find the attached correspondence related to your Freedom of Information Act request. If you need to contact this office again concerning your request, please provide the FPS FOIA reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time.
Federal Protective Service
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
E-mail: FPSFOIA@fps.dhs.gov (mailto:CISAFOIA@hq.dhs.gov)
I'm writing in the hopes of clarifying some apparent defects in your correspondence dated Sept. 21 regarding my FOIA (# 2020-FPFO-00240) which you describe as a "final response", and memorialize these defects for the purposes of future proceedings.
This is not a FOIA appeal. I do not consider your correspondence to represent a "final response" as detailed below, and therefore a lawful appeal is not appropriate until you have completed your response.
1. This FOIA seeks documents from two agencies: The Federal Protective Services (FPS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This response notes there are 178 responsive pages in FPS documents, but makes no mention of the documents requested from CBP. Please fullfill this FOIA in it's entirety by providing documents from both of the administrative units specified. If you are claiming that CBP does not have responsive records, please do so explicitly. Nonetheless, I do not consider this to be a "final response" until this question is resolved.
2. This is a request for electronic copies of documents. If you believe that some portion of these documents should be redacted before release, please redact them in the customary manner: please "black out" the section of document that is redactable, and indicate by notation which subsection of FOIA exemption you believe applies *to each individual redaction*.
3. The claim that all portions of all requested documents must be redacted is simply not credible. As the U.S. Department of Justice notes "The courts have held that the mere pendency of enforcement proceedings is an inadequate basis for the invocation of Exemption 7(A); the government must also establish that some distinct harm could reasonably be expected to result if the record or information requested were disclosed." Distinct harm *must be indentified* for each individual redacted section. It is grossly inadequate to claim blanket immunity from public accountability and your assertion only serves to further damage DHS' credibility in this regard.
4. The phone numbers listed in your response are not monitored. Please do not use non-working phone numbers in future responses to me or other requestors. I consistently hear from FOIA officers that they have insufficient resources to fulfill the volume of FOIAs received, but simple steps--such as monitoring phone lines in order to fix defects such as those described above--would reduce the volume of correspondence and an agencies workload.
Please note that the DHS Privacy Office REFERRED this request to both CBP AND FPS for direct response to you.. FPS provided the final response concerning FPS, CBP will provide their response directly to you. If you wish to contact DHS Privacy concerning the status of the CBP portion of this request, please contact that office at FOIA@hq.dhs.gov<mailto:FOIA@hq.dhs.gov>. FPS is responsible for only requests with FSP equities; we are not responsible for other DHS components.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Protective Service
CBP-2020-077813 has been processed with the following final disposition: Partial Grant/Partial Denial.