Salt Lake City Police Department GRAMA Coordinator Candee Allred has refused to comply with our public records request seeking information that the public has the right to know. Our request sought all shift schedules for September 5th, full names and badge numbers of all SLCPD staff members currently on paid administrative leave or suspension status, and all police reports related to the shooting of Linden Cameron without redactions. Of those requests, the SLCPD has no right to refuse the first request, has the discretion not to hide behind bad law with regards to the second, and can only legitimately refuse the third.
The Utah Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) requires government agencies like the SLCPD to turn over certain types of records upon request, but like every other public records act in America it has various catch all exceptions built into it that allow government agencies to refuse any request for any reason simply by claiming that the information sought would endanger the safety of an individual. Agencies claiming such exceptions are not required to prove that any danger actually exists. They simply must state that a danger exists. At that point the person seeking the record must appeal and will probably have to sue to get the records unless the agency denying the request changes their mind. Coordinator Candee Allred responded to our request for a simple shift schedule as follows:
“Your request for this information is hereby denied. These records have been classified as protected records pursuant to Utah Code 63G-2-305(11) in that the disclosure of the records would jeopardize the life or safety of an individual.”
Allred provided no explanation as to why the disclosure of the shift schedule would endanger the life of any individual. The law she cited simply reads, “(11)records the disclosure of which would jeopardize the life or safety of an individual;” This type of exception is typically cited by every police department that we have ever tried to get a shift schedule from. They think that it is in their best interest to protect the identities of bad officers. For that reason it is the policy of CopBlaster.com to track down and publish public records pertaining to any individual that refuses to produce records on behalf on any agency on such grounds. We did it in Missouri when a sheriff refused to produce a shift schedule following the murder of a young woman by one of his deputies (https://copblaster.com/blast/25797/pettis-county-sheriff-kevin-c-bond-refuses-to-comply-with-foia) and we are doing it here with Ms. Allred. Public records contain the following information about Allred:
CANDEE HUTCHINGS ALLRED
Last Known Home Address:
11916 S WOODRIDGE RD
SANDY, UT 84094-5707
Possible Email Addresses:
Office Phone: 801-799-3100
To this date the Missouri sheriff has not complied with our request, so his address remains on this website. As was the case with that sheriff, Allred can get her address removed from this page at any time simply by complying with our first two requests. That means that we require the shift schedule and a response to our request for disciplinary records other than the following:
“Your request for this information is hereby denied. This information is not responsive as a public record in that the discipline status of such individuals has not been determined (See Utah Code 63G-2-301(3)(o)). These records have been classified as private records, at this time, pursuant to Utah Code 63G-2-302(2)(d) in that the release of such information would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
The claim that releasing police disciplinary records would unreasonably invade the privacy of the officer is outrageous. The public has a right to know which police officers have faced disciplinary action and what that action was for. We will not tolerate refusal to produce such records records on such grounds by any law enforcement agency. GRAMA does not appear to contain any criteria for what constitutes an unreasonable invasion of privacy. It simply allows the responding agency to claim such and requires the responding party to appeal the decision or file a lawsuit. As for the GRAMA language permitting the SLCPD to refrain from turning over records pertaining to disciplinary proceedings unless “(i)the disciplinary action has been completed and all time periods for administrative appeal have expired; and (ii)the charges on which the disciplinary action was based were sustained;” we have concluded that such provisions fail to hold police officers accountable. By limiting disclosures to only completed proceedings that have been sustained after appeals are exhausted, the public is deprives of the opportunity to review the nature of all accusations and look for patterns. Police disciplinary proceedings are designed to protect officers and as a result meritorious accusations rarely sustained. The public has the right to know about ever allegation an officer has faced whether the Utah legislature recognizes that right or not. They can choose not to hide behind exceptions to public records requests at any time and we require that the do so if they want anything removed from this page.
Why Not Appeal, Sue, or Otherwise “Play by the Rules?”
Their rules are designed to protect them, so limiting our responses to just those specifically permitted by their rules is unsatisfactory. We simply do not have time to file a lawsuit and we lack a physical presence in Utah, so the best we can do is post locations we would like to see picketed with the hope that someone else might picket those locations. That is why we post addresses. We ask that nobody use that information to damage property or physically harm anyone, but we do encourage people to make their voices heard. We also have zero faith in the appeals process to produce a favorable or timely outcome. We will appeal the decision, but in the meantime the SLCPD will have to contend with our activism. We will not tolerate government officials that refuse to produce records on the grounds cited by Allred. If Ms. Allred is not satisfied with our response she can comply with our requests.
We are not being unreasonable. We have dropped our request for documents that are part of a current SLCPD investigation. We knew that our third request would most certainly be denied, but thought it worth requesting anyway just in case someone screwed up and gave them to us. We agree with Allred that producing those documents at this stage could pose a risk to the investigation because it could give people being investigated for wrongdoing in the Linden Cameron case a heads up that they are being investigated. We want justice for Linden, so we were only going to use those to identify his shooter.
Also, should Ms. Allred turn over the requested records and we are able to identify Linden Cameron’s shooter from those documents we will remove the home address of SLCPD Chief Mike Brown from https://copblaster.com/blast/25962/salt-lake-city-police-chief-mike-brown-hides-behind-shroud-of-secrecy
Published at Mon, 19 Oct 2020 19:13:53 +0000