In this week’s FOIA roundup, two FOIA lawsuits push the Justice Department to release a new version of the Mueller Report, records reveal that the Connecticut police officer who shot an unarmed teen last month had worried past supervisors, and an elected city clerk in Illinois sues his city over its own FOIA processes.
See a great use of public records we missed? Send over your favorite FOIA stories via email, on Twitter, or on Facebook, and maybe we’ll include them in the next round-up. And if you’d like even more inspiration, read past round-ups.
DOJ releases second redacted version of Mueller report over FOIA lawsuits
In response to FOIA lawsuits filed by BuzzFeed News and the Electronic Privacy and Information Center, the DOJ has released a new version of the Mueller Report on Monday. Though the newest iteration is nearly identical to the original report, the updated version clarifies why parts of the special counsel’s findings have been redacted from public viewing. Whereas the first report explains redactions with four generalities (harm to ongoing matter; grand jury material; classified information; and personal privacy), the second pass specifically cites seven FOIA exemptions which allow the government to lawfully deny access to public records.
New Records Reveal that Police Officer Who Killed Unarmed Teen had Worried Supervisors
According to reporting by the The Associated Press, the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Anthony Jose Vega Cruz last month had a history of poor job performance. According to three years of personnel records obtained and reported on by the AP, multiple supervisors questioned the capabilities of Officer Layau Eulizier, saying the now-26-year-old officer had serious difficulty working under stress. Eulizier was a member of the Wethersfield Police Department in Connecticut when he fatally shot Cruz after a failed traffic stop last month.
“It is my opinion that Off. Eulizier needs immediate attention,” said a 2016 performance report on Eulizier.
“I worry that if he does not vastly improve his work performance under stress he is going to hurt himself or someone else.”
Read the full story here.
Evanston City Clerk sues Evanston
Evanston City Clerk Devon Reid has sued the City of Evanston, Illinois, the city’s general manager, and the city attornes. As the city’s elected clerk, Reid serves as Evanston’s chief FOIA officer. Reid’s suit argues that he has been unable to fulfill his FOIA-related duties because Evanston has withheld unredacted responses to FOIA requests. The suit specifically references requests for unedited police body camera footage and attorney-client privileged information.
City Attorney Michelle Masoncup announced Wednesday that the Evanston intends to fight Reid’s suit based on FOIA limitation enshrined in both the Illinois Body-Worn Camera Act and the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
Read the Chicago Tribune’s full reporting on the story here,
Image via Wikimedia Commons