Decatur

AG: Decatur Police violated FOIA in refusing to produce dash-cam video after Homicide –

DECATUR, IL. (ECWd) –

Several months ago I requested dash-cam video of an accident in which the Decatur Police Department was involved in a high-speed chase after a homicide on October 31, 2017.

They denied my request for the footage citing at least 4 seperate exemptions in FOIA, including the claim that it would hamper their homicide investigation.

Today, the AG’s Public Access Counselor’s office issued a determination letter stating that the Decatur Police Department violated the Freedom of Information Act by improperly withholding the requested video, and directed them to produce it to me.

The AG’s response stated that the PD needed to explain “how” any exception would apply, and they failed to do so.

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Categories: Decatur, feature, Macon County

2 replies »

  1. It seems to be a common attitude of police departments and some times the state boys and girls. Being a public entity (police department) and having a pursuit policy seems pretty clear cut, duh, you have to release your policy. They probably don’t want to release it for fear people will KNOW when officers CAN and CANNOT pursue, which is certainly something a department would not want to advertise…but that’s just the way it is. Many departments now-a-days restrict pursuits to the point that if you can’t kill them, you can’t chase them. If an officer pursues but is not justified by policy, there are severe discipline consequences. Of course, there could be civil consequences for an officer and his / her department if the officer acts negligently or fails to follow policy, as well as criminal charges for the officer if he / she acts recklessly. Maybe policy was violated ? Maybe something they don’t want seen or heard?

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