Skip to main content

View Diary: Why Ferguson Incident Report Unlawful & How Obtained (190 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  If Wilson felt he couldn't (10+ / 0-)

    write the incident report without incriminating himself, the task should have devolved to the responding officers. They'd have to fill out a form (with several 'essay' questions) for any homicide to which they responded. May not be just like the participant form, but individual police officer's reports about the incident surely exist at both Ferguson and SL County PDs. Don't police still have to account for how they spend their time on duty?

    So there should be at least a couple of existent reports written the day of the murder in both FPD and SLCPD files right now. They should all be subject to public release.

    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

    by Joieau on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:14:51 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Uhh, psst, (11+ / 0-)

      (its a cover up thing, here didn't you get the memo?)

      Pen ran out of ink. Dog ate homework, pages flew out of window while driving.. Official story coming soon.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:21:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The police claim that Wilson never invoked (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a right against self-incrimination. That's all straw to begin with.

      "I guess you think you can psych me out by saying really random stuff." -Sora, Hollow Bastion, KH2

      by SphericalXS on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:30:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, sure it is. (5+ / 0-)

        Deal is, Wilson was not the only police officer there that day, so there should be a number of accounts written that day on file. Hardcopy - in handwriting - is still required for public records (and evidence) purposes. They just couldn't email pdf of that around the department hierarchy if Anonymous had hold of their email system. That's what the copy machine in the break room is for. Email integrity is not a good excuse.

        The whole lot of 'em are breaking the law. I get the same feeling about this that I did about the whole paramilitary siege thing - nobody's in charge. Literally. Even worse, that's been the situation from the moment Wilson encountered Michael Brown on the street. Wow.

        There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

        by Joieau on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 02:56:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I believe that any other reports filed by officers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, VClib

          on the scene could be legitimately considered investigative reports, which they have the legal obligation to withhold from the public until the investigation is completed.

          The initial incident report is only required from Wilson. I believe I have that right.

          "I guess you think you can psych me out by saying really random stuff." -Sora, Hollow Bastion, KH2

          by SphericalXS on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 03:00:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That depends (6+ / 0-)

            If they were called to the INCIDENT - they must file an "Incident Report."

            If - after that - they were assigned to "Investigate" the incident - then this becomes a possibility.

            HOWEVER - the legal exemption applies to the REPORT of the Investigation - not necessarily the records it looks at.  

            •  YES (0+ / 0-)

              sorry i'm so late reading this.  there were a couple diaries a couple days ago with some interesting discussions about this whole thing.  if you didn't catch them, and would like to, this one definitely has some questions about all this come up:
              Keystone Kops

              on that one, if you read it, please check the posts by CenPhx.  he/she stated that an incident report WAS required (which dawgflyer then claimed was not true, in his Garrity diary) by not only Wilson, but by every officer on the scene.  yet none of them...exist?
              further, that if Wilson was "involved" in the scene, another officer should have "taken over" and that officer's incident report should have included [at least] a brief interview/summary with Wilson about what had happened.

              since the SLPD didn't take over for 40 minutes, that is 40 minutes of time that each officer on scene should have recorded in an incident report.

              further, even the SLPD's "incident report" wasn't truly an "incident report" because it didn't include one of the requirements--a basic outline/sketch of the incident.

            •  things to consider (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Charlie Grapski, white blitz

              in case you read this post....other questions i've had or seen come up.  i've tried to read most of the comments here but i might have missed if these topics came up already on your diary.

              1) Where are all the incident reports from the other officers on scene?

              2 ) Wilson (or his 'peeps') say he didn't invoke the 5th.  it was pointed out that an incident report is required, by MO law, and that if an officer feels writing a report will be self-incriminatory, that he/she must STILL FILE a report, but that he/she would then write on the report that they are invoking their 5th A. right not to self-incriminate.
              and IF THIS HAPPENS, another officer is REQUIRED to write an incident report about what might have caused th invocation.
              again, i think CenPhx discussed this, and quite well.

              3) Where is the "injury" report?  i've worked at jobs where we had to have a report filed if we so much as...let the edge trimmer get away and make a small cut on our arm.  even if it required no medical attention more than a band-aid.  Wilson claims he was injured--where is the report?

              4) Discharge of Service Firearm report.  almost always required.  where is it?  i think YucataMan mentioned this.

              5) A 'new' argument supporting Wilson and the lack of reports is that some of these reports could be classified as "administrative" and therefore not subject to FOIA.  Is this true?

              6) In the released 19-page incident report for the Ferguson Market "cigar theft/robbery," an already-existing incident report on the Brown shooting is referenced--report #2014-12391.  it also references the SLCPD report #-43984 (which is apparently the one released?).  this was on page 7 of the "robbery" report.

              Where is report #12391??
              If the SLCPD report already existed, in the format that was just released, then it means that they also began immediately to...not follow the law/obstruct justice.

              If they do not exist, and did not exist, why were they referenced?
              If they do not exist, but DID exist, then...??
              This issue was noted/noticed by emal and nicteis in the Keystone Kops diary.

            •  and how can we help you? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Charlie Grapski, white blitz

              you've said you want everyone's help, but how?

              although i think the $32k thing would never stand, i'm sure you could get that thru crowdfunding, or something.  i'd chip in some.

              do you want more people to file a FOIA request??

              •  Yes thanks ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                colbey, white blitz

                I will be putting together a STRATEGY - I am trying to figure out the best way to use the internet for this right now - to have as many people as we can recruit to file particular requests - and in some cases - the same request.

                I will continue to write diaries on that strategy and call for people to participate.  I will have one likely today or tomorrow with a first step.

                •  gotcha (0+ / 0-)

                  will wait then.

                  i don't know much about FOIA requests.  like...can anyone file one?  does it cost anything?  (normally--not when some group is trying to scare requests off by demanding thousands of dollars.)
                  Is every FOIA request REQUIRED to be answered??  in some way??  that would certainly cause some headaches if there were suddenly several hundred requests.
                  does one have to make a separate request for EACH document?

                  if nothing else, it seems it would get the media's attention--if there were suddenly hundreds of FOIA requests.

                  anyway...waiting.  you'll let us know the best way to help.  thank you for doing all this.

                  •  Answers (0+ / 0-)

                    First - its important to distinguish FOIA (the Federal Freedom of Information Act) and State PUBLIC RECORDS laws.

                    The former only applies to federal agencies - and their records.  And it is incredibly cumbersome and you have little rights to compel them to produce in a reasonable time.

                    But anyone can file for such.

                    State Public Records law only apply to the agencies and officials of that state.  BUT - they tend to be far stronger laws than FOIA - with significant legal means to compel production.

                    That is - if a person knows how, can, and if they get a judge that cares more about the law - than their belonging to a "class" - the class of public officials - that is prejudiced by the class interest.  

                    Nonetheless - the only way to get the laws respected and enforced - is to learn how to use them, to take those cases to court, and to thus DEMAND that respect and enforcement.

                    And these laws are usually written - using the Florida model - with incentives for taking cases (including for lawyers).  If you succeed in court - usually fees and costs are mandated to be awarded.  (And in a few states - you can be awarded damages - but this is the exception rather than the rule (it is a reform that should be pursued universally)).

                    Again - usually ANYONE can make them.  You usually don't have to be a resident in a state.  Just a member of the public.  AND - in states like Florida (another part that should be made universal) - you have the right to make the request anonymously.  [There is a work around - in those states that don't - which I am trying to provide to persons who wish to remain anonymous but get records.  They can use a THIRD PARTY - such as The Open Records Project - to make the request on their behalf.]

                    Every public records request - MUST be responded to: either with the records, when they will be provided, or a legal exemption that applies specifically to those records or a portion thereof (these laws tend to be required to be liberally construed in terms of the citizen's right - the presumption of openness - and narrowly construed when it comes to exemptions (the exemption must be clear and specific)).

                    You can make multiple requests in one - or one for each category of record you seek.  The danger in the former - is that they will use that as an excuse to claim your request is "broad" and/or "burdensome."  So I generally request only one - or very few - records per request.

                    If an agency has more requests than it can respond to in a reasonable time - its an indication they are not assigning enough staff or not giving enough priority to this essential function.

                    Yes - one tactic in the strategy that I am using - is, in certain cases, to have MANY people make the same request.  Also - something I employed today - is to have MANY people making MANY requests - in this case - one person, one request, for the same record - but for a different single day.  [This is a response to their attempt to dissuade and deny a fairly narrow request - for a month and a half worths of records - by demanding $35,000 to get it.

                    In terms of helping - I need as many people to volunteer to participate in the requests that I am organizing in this strategy - and you can email me to join this if you send to

                    And also - as you learn by experience - eventually learning to file your own requests.  

                    I am hoping to create Open Record Projects in each state - with a team in each locality.  This is the long term goal.

            •  one more thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Charlie Grapski

              maybe look up Henry Davis's story.  there were reports of some sort that are normally done, but the FPD...well, sometimes they did and sometimes they didn't and nobody seemed to give a crap about them.

              Henry Davis

      •  It is (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SphericalXS, Joieau, Shotput8, colbey, onionjim

        But I wanted to head it off - by proving it did not happen.  And thus silence the trolls out there all over the place making this claim - as if it happened.  (As well as letting those who sincerely thought this might be the case - know it was not).

    •  They claim no others exist (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, Shotput8, onionjim, colbey

      And even "created" this one "specially" because they knew they had to produce "something."  

      Its a game - but if WE come together across the nation and strategically use the public records law - they WILL LOSE.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (129)
  • Community (54)
  • Republicans (35)
  • Environment (33)
  • 2016 (32)
  • Memorial Day (31)
  • Culture (30)
  • Bernie Sanders (26)
  • Elections (26)
  • Media (24)
  • Spam (23)
  • Climate Change (21)
  • Education (21)
  • GOP (21)
  • Labor (21)
  • Civil Rights (20)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (18)
  • Law (17)
  • Rescued (17)
  • Barack Obama (17)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site