Muslim Ban Protests (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority)

Curtis Waltman filed this request with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority of Washington, DC.
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Curtis Waltman

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act of 1974, D.C. Code Ann. § 2-531 et seq. ("D.C. Act"), I hereby request the following records:

Compilations of equipment or munitions to be used, after action reports, incident reports, Special Event Threat Assessment (SETA) Reports, and any other reports on the protests in regard to the executive order by Donald Trump freezing immigration from 7 Middle Eastern nations. These protests occurred January 28th 2017 and January 29th 2017. I would also request department Telex messages for the January 28th 2017 and January 29th 2017 protests. I would also like any written communications with the Governor's Office, Homeland Security, or the US Customs and Border Patrol during the aforementioned time frame.

As a member of the news media working for MuckRock News I request that a fee waiver for my request be granted. My work has been published by national outlets. My work for Motherboard can be viewed at the following link: http://motherboard.vice.com/author/cwaltman

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 15 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Curtis Waltman

From: Deutsch, Emily K.

Dear Mr. Waltman:

On behalf of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), I am writing in connection with your request for public records, outlined below. Although you submitted your request under the District of Columbia’s Freedom of Information Act, WMATA is not a District agency and, as such, is not required to comport with that municipal statute. Nevertheless, we are processing your request for records under our Public Access to Records Policy (PARP), which is available on our website at https://www.wmata.com/about/records/.

Additional Information Needed to Support Request to Waive Fees:

You have requested a fee waiver as a member of the news media, but have not provided WMATA with sufficient information to make such a determination. In order to evaluate your fee waiver request, please submit the following additional information:

1) A written explanation of the purpose of your request and your intended use of the requested records.

2) A written explanation of how disclosure of those records will significantly further the public’s interest in the operations or activities of WMATA;

3) A written explanation of how the information/records you request is related to a current news event or is of current interest to the public;

4) A written affirmation that you will use your editorial skills to generate a news article, or other media content, based on the records you request; and

5) A written affirmation that you intend to publish a news article, or other form of media, related to the records you request.

If we do not receive this additional information within 10 business days - by Thursday, March 2, 2017 -- we will categorize you as a commercial requester for fee categorization purposes. This means that you will be assessed fees if your request requires more than two hours of staff time to process. Such fees are calculated at the staff member’s basic rate of pay, plus an additional 50 percent to cover benefits, for the time spent responding to such a request. Also, if hard copy records are provided, there is a 15 cent per page copying fee beyond the first 100 pages. In general, a request is considered an agreement to pay all applicable fees. Advance payment is required where the fees are likely to exceed $250.

Time Period for Processing Requests

Additionally, please be advised that, pursuant to the guidelines set forth in the PARP, WMATA aims to respond to a request for records within 30 business days following receipt of the request and any other required documentation, such as a notarized release. However, additional time is required to process requests that involve coordination with multiple WMATA offices or third parties, require the review of voluminous records, or prove to be otherwise complex.

Exemptions

The PARP provides exemptions for certain types of data, including (1) information that could compromise Washington Area Metro Transit Authority’s (WMATA) infrastructure or security; (2) information that is solely related to the internal personnel rules and practices of WMATA; (3) information that is exempt by statute; (4) contractor proprietary information; (5) internal deliberations on policy matters; (6) attorney-client privileged communications; (7) information that, if released, would cause a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; (8) certain information compiled for law enforcement purposes; and (9) SmarTrip® and customer financial information. Generally, WMATA’s response will not include any exempt information.

Limited Retention of Audio-Video Records

Please be aware that WMATA is highly constrained in its ability to retain video footage of its assets and infrastructure. In general, we cannot guarantee that such records will be available upon request. Nevertheless, we shall exercise due diligence in verifying whether the specific video implicated in your request is, or is not, available before providing a definitive response.

Future communications should reference the request number noted in the caption of this correspondence. If you have any questions, please contact me at ekdeutsch@wmata.com<mailto:ekdeutsch@wmata.com> or (202) 962-2058.

Thank you very much for your consideration and courtesy.

Yours very respectfully,

Emily Woodward Deutsch
Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
ph: (202) 962-2058 fax: (202) 962-2550 ekdeutsch@wmata.com<mailto:ekdeutsch@wmata.com>
https://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-woodward-deutsch-54216551

THIS E-MAIL MESSAGE IS PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION INTENDED ONLY FOR THE USE OF THE RECIPIENT NAMED ABOVE. IF THE READER OF THIS MESSAGE IS NOT THE NAMED RECIPIENT, OR THE AGENT RESPONSIBLE TO DELIVER IT TO THE NAMED RECIPIENT, YOU ARE NOTIFIED THAT ANY DISSEMINATION, DISTRIBUTION, COPYING OR OTHER USE OF THIS INFORMATION/COMMUNICATION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND NO PRIVILEGE IS WAIVED. IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS COMMUNICATION IN ERROR, PLEASE NOTIFY THE ABOVE-NAMED INDIVIDUAL IMMEDIATELY.

From: MuckRock

Hello Mrs. Deutsch,
I would like to provide some clarification for you regarding my request for a fee waiver. The request number that I am referencing is 17-0026. I am a journalist working for MuckRock News, specifically covering issues surrounding law enforcement. In the last month or so alone I have published 2 articles centering entirely on law enforcement agencies' responses to protests. The links are as follows: https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/feb/13/boston-police-inauguration-protests/
https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/jan/27/womens-march-surveillance-stingrays/

I publish at least two articles a week for MuckRock, and am currently gathering research material for a number of future articles regarding the increasingly frequent protests against the Trump administration, and its policies. Therefore, for these reasons alone I believe I qualify for news media status, and have been granted this request by federal and state agencies a like.

Furthermore, I take issue with your indication that absent my proving to you that I am indeed a media requester, I would be classified as a commercial requester. To begin with, MuckRock is not a commercial requesting entity, we are a non-profit news agency and public records advocacy group, and our work is entirely open to the public to view on our website. This means every request filed through MuckRock.com is available for the general public to view. This is to say nothing of how we run upwards of 15 articles a week, and have a news readership of 270,000 people. I think it is very unfair to categorize MuckRock as a commercial requester. We receive no real profit off of these requests, our entire mission is to educate the public and deliver reporting about topics our readers care about and pertinent news. I am entirely unclear how we meet the criteria for a commercial-use requester, which is defined as furthering the commercial, trade, or profit interest of the requester or the person on whose behalf the request is made. Our only motive in making this request, and all requests we make in general, is to educate the public and publish our own reporting.

In light of this, I hope you will reconsider and give me news media status for this request, and any subsequent requests I may make to this agency. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Curtis Waltman
MuckRock News

From: Deutsch, Emily K.

Mr. Walton,

Thank you for taking the time to provide this supplemental information in support of your request for a fee waiver. We’ll get back to you soon with a determination in this regard.

Thanks again,
Emily D.

Emily Woodward Deutsch
Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
ph: (202) 962-2058 fax: (202) 962-2550 ekdeutsch@wmata.com<mailto:ekdeutsch@wmata.com>
https://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-woodward-deutsch-54216551

THIS E-MAIL MESSAGE IS PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION INTENDED ONLY FOR THE USE OF THE RECIPIENT NAMED ABOVE. IF THE READER OF THIS MESSAGE IS NOT THE NAMED RECIPIENT, OR THE AGENT RESPONSIBLE TO DELIVER IT TO THE NAMED RECIPIENT, YOU ARE NOTIFIED THAT ANY DISSEMINATION, DISTRIBUTION, COPYING OR OTHER USE OF THIS INFORMATION/COMMUNICATION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND NO PRIVILEGE IS WAIVED. IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS COMMUNICATION IN ERROR, PLEASE NOTIFY THE ABOVE-NAMED INDIVIDUAL IMMEDIATELY.

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