Dan Rubins

I filed a public records request for Coroner’s records on Willie McCoy, who was shot by Vallejo PD this winter while sleeping in his car in a Taco Bell drive through. While it seems the reports are not yet complete, they seem to be lining up prevent disclosure by calling it a “protected case.” It looks like folks in a local newsroom ran into this a couple of times with the Solano Coroner’s office in 2017 (here and here). I don’t know if the Coroner ever released those records or continued to block access. Either way it strikes me as odd. I have not seen any other Coroner use that wording, nor any documentation from their office on appealing that determination to release records. I’d appreciate any advice.

Russ Kick

Hi, Dan, I see that your request is no longer on MuckRock. Was wondering if you withdrew it? Or maybe it’s embargoed....

Anyway, from what I see, it looks like “protected case” is an instant shutdown. You might need to go meta by filing a request with the coroner’s office for all policies, procedures, guidelines, and memos regarding what constitutes a “protected case,” when that designation can be invoked, etc. —Russ