Publication of Police Report After FOI
1 answer from Alys Brooks.
As part of a story I’m working on I’m FOIing a police report about a stolen item from a trade show (which itself blew up and became a widely publicized story).
I’ve filed an initial FOI request with the Department in question and they said that they cannot locate a record of such an event, and will search again if I can get an incident number from the company of which had the item stolen. \ \ I contacted the company and they said that publishing the police report was a no-go, and will subject me to civil/criminal liability.
I want your guys’ thoughts on the matter:
1) Aren’t police reports FOIable? The response I got from the department wasn’t a ‘we can’t release this’ it was more of a ‘we can’t find this’ (http://www.zrfmlaw.com/police-reports-held-to-be-foia-able-despite-open-investigation/)\ \ 2)If a police department publishes a report on MuckRock isn’t it then a public document?
I wonder if you could ask for all reports from the day or days in question. (Or maybe just all theft reports?) A pretty broad request for larceny police reports from Chicago [succeeded](https://www.muckrock.com/foi/chicago-169/chicago-illinois-larceny-from-mv-reports-27157/). Admittedly, the Chicago police might have a more sophisticated police report database and those weren’t full reports, just summaries.
I’m not sure about your second question.