In trying to learn more about how police respond to demonstrations, MuckRock has been consistently met with exemptions and pushback, often with entire records releases being denied. Let us curate the five worst examples of this we have come across in the last few months.
We’ve sent requests to police departments around the country for their incident reports, threat assessments, and any other records we can get surrounding the law enforcement response to the protests surging through American cities. While most of our requests are still processing, what we have received illustrates how remarkably unprepared some law enforcement was for demonstrations of this scope.
Earlier this week, the Washington Post made headlines of its own for reporting that “intelligence sources” were saying Russia had hacked into the U.S. power grid, which is a thing that did not happen. In fact, this wasn’t even the first time it hadn’t happened - just five years ago, a Senate report tore into Homeland Security for making the same claims with even less evidence.
Since 2013, the Montgomery County Model (MCM) has been hailed as the gold standard for community-based Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs across the country. Despite these accolades, there is little indication that MCM has been able to resolve the concerns raised by Muslim and civil rights groups about these counterterrorism programs - in fact, MCM seems to have proceeded simply by ignoring such concerns, helped by the secrecy with which the program operates.
An Intelligence Assessment of terrorist plots against the United States and U.S. interests between 2001 and 2010 concluded that “a broadening U.S. military presence overseas and outreach by Islamist ideologues” was behind an 11 percent increase in plotted attacks since 2006. And yet, by focusing on Muslim communities, Obama’s counterterrorism program sidesteps questions about US policies which continually produce terrorists.
Dustin Slaughter sent this request to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General of the United States of America