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In a post yesterday, we detailed Little Rock Police Departments refusal to provide information we requested via a Freedom of Information request.
If you missed it, you can view it by clicking here.
As revealed in yesterday's post, LRPD denied our request to view and copy video from a camera they have pointed at From His Throne Ministries, a hop, skip and jump from their downtown office.
|SGT. JONATHAN PRATER - LRPD FOIA UNIT|
Then LRPD Chief Kenton Buckner circled the wagons.
Not to be left out, city attorney Tom Carpenter chimed in.
Carpenter is an excellent litigator and has a fantastic track record of tremendous, wonderful victories for the city. A great attorney whose sound judgment is beyond reproach. The best. No Kidding. Really.
Carpenter's email is full of nonsense.
Carpenter states that the camera video is recorded on tapes.
Lets get that knocked out the the way right now.
Here is a series of photos of the LRPD camera and speaker that was recently installed on a utility pole on the northwest side of the W. Markham & Ringo intersection.
The camera and speaker are connected to a Comcast/Xfinity connection box. Wires for electrical power are running from the camera/speaker and end up inside an electrical box attached to the exterior of the Trivia Marketing building.
That's the building that houses the business of Michelle Hastings, the homeless hater. You can read our post about her by clicking here.
You will notice that the box that the camera/speaker power lines run into is not the same color as the other boxes attached to the wall. Did LRPD install that electrical box? If so what did that cost the taxpayers? Who is footing the electric bill?
Rest assured there are no video tapes used with this system. This is a digital system that has video recorded onto a DVR (digital video recorder), server or computer.
Viewing recordings made by this camera will not require shutting down the entire system as Carpenter claimed. And it is a simple process to download images and or video and burn to a disk, DVD, or thumb drive.
Usually the video that is downloaded from a system like this comes with its own self-executing player.
That ridiculous excuse is done with. Now lets go to the legal stuff.
Carpenter states that the city is not relying on a exemption provided by the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, rather the request was "unreasonable."
Dear readers, the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act does not have the word reasonable anywhere in it.
In fact the AFOIA is very clear in that all public records shall be open to inspection and copying by any citizen of the State of Arkansas during the regular business hours of the custodian of the records.
It also states that the request shall be sufficiently specific to enable the custodian to locate the records with reasonable efforts.
We asked for all recording made from this camera. You can't get more specific than that.
We sent a response to Carpenter's email.
The documents referred to in this email were included in yesterday's post and we will not repost them here.
We also sent these short messages.
Carpenter then tried another tactic. Caught in a lie he had too.
He counters that the recordings are made in different formats and goes into the dash cameras in police cars, which was not part of our FOI request.
What happened to the video tapes? Pure shyster shenanigans.
Then he sent another email.
Our response to that email:
And another from Carpenter:
There should be no cost or fees whatsoever as we were going to provide the drive on which the video could be placed.
It is important to remember the AFOIA states that the agencies like LRPD has to provide reasonable access to public records and reasonable comforts and facilities for the full exercise of the right to inspect and copy those records shall not be denied ant citizen.
The AFOIA also states that a citizen may request a copy of a public record in any medium in which the record is readily available or in any formation to which it is readily convertible with the custodians existing software.
It also states if agencies acquire computer hardware or software it shall be in compliance with the requirements of the AFOIA so to not impede public access to records in electronic form.
The publisher of this blog has taken thumb drives to the Arkansas Secretary of State to obtain a copy of the voter records that office provided to the Presidential Commission recently. That same thumb drive has gone to the city of Fort Smith to obtain copies of documents relating to Sen. Jake Files and his illegal conversion of GIF monies. It has been used at many other agencies to obtain responses to other FOI requests.
The publisher of this blog has also taken a laptop and compact scanner to copy files at many local and state agencies.
Then Carpenter adds a new wrinkle.
There was no discussion about me providing a new, unopened thumb drive.
Carpenter makes an incredible statement that the requirement of a new thumb drive is due the the "integrity of the system".
This was our response.
That is where this matter stands at this point in time.
LRPD and the city of Little Rock is doing everything that can, even lying, to try and prevent the release of information.
This has turned into a matter of principal and the law.
We will post about what happens when we attempt to view the video tomorrow morning.
This evening as we went back to the 1100 block of W. Markham to take additional photographs for this port we observed individual's loitering in the area, standing outside Doe's; by the back of a pick-up truck on Ringo, etc. None of these individuals were homeless and the LRPD Officers, getting paid overtime were just sitting in their SUV in the parking lot of the Gary Green Law Offices, looking at their phones.
What a waste of valuable resources.
Changes in leadership are needed at Little Rock City Hall. Elections are coming.