Saturday, January 10, 2015

CHP's 1,400 Emails About Berkeley's Black Lives Protests?

Earlier this week, the California Highway Patrol updated my Dec. 12 public records request for emails sent or received by key officials, including the Golden Gate Division's chief, during the street protests in Berkeley related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The CHP's legal counsel Jonathan S. Rothman on Jan. 6 said they've located 1,388 "separate documents that appear relevant" to my request and the review process has now begun.

Using unnecessary legalese, Rothman explains "the completion of the review should result in the creation of three categories of materials". My request was for all emails to certain addresses regardless of content.

He also says their search "generated other categories of items" omitting any details as to what these items are or which category they belong in. I've asked to have those vague items reviewed and released to me.

Rothman notes that they can charge thirty cents a page for copies, but I've replied that the sunshine law requires state agencies to provide records in their native format, in this case emails, or to provide the requester with documents digitized.

My response also asked for dates of when the review process would conclude and when I might receive responsive records.

Nearly a month after filing the request, I am disappointed the CHP lacks urgency to release the emails. This agency has millions of taxpayer dollars to communicate with the public and comply with transparency statutes, and should be more diligent to expedite sunshine efforts.

Finally, I'm posting the image snapped by photographer Michael Short of an undercover CHP officer aiming a loaded gun at protesters and citizen and mainstream journalists. It is part of what motivated me to request CHP emails.

1 comment:

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Thanks for looking into it.

I hadn't seen that CHP pic before. Looking right down the barrel. The undercover cop all gangster with his sideways gat. I've heard it's not a very good way to aim, but what do I know?