police files/undercover cops in activist groups
Is it possible to ask if a certain activist group has been targeted with an undercover cop infiltration? If that were the case, would they even give out that information in a public request? How would I word something like that? It’s about a local group in NYC, so would I ask the NYPD?
On a similar note: another request I have is to find out every time “Earth First!” has appeared in police reports around the country. Specifically if the FBI is keeping track of current activity, or has paid informants in various state chapters.
This is my first time filing a FOIA request, so any help is appreciated!
You should start by reading the actual FOIA law (link below–5 USC 552). There are certain exemptions under FOIA, where the government is exempt from providing certain information. Scroll down the page quite a bit and read exemption 7, which concerns records relating to law enforcement purposes, including confidential sources.
You should also read about “Glomar Responses” (link attached), as that is likely what sort of response you would get regarding your request.
But if your request were for the NYPD it would fall under either NY states public records law or NY city’s… so start by finding those.