Request #19-395
  Closed

July 1, 2019

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.) ("CPRA"), the Vallejo Sunshine Ordinance, and all other applicable laws, please disclose the following records.

 

1. Any video or audio recording that relates to a critical incident, including: an incident involving the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer; and/or an incident in which the use of force by a peace officer or custodial officer against a person resulted in death or in great bodily injury.


As you know, the above-described records are disclosable pursuant to AB 748, which took effect today, July 1, 2019.

The fundamental rule of the CPRA is a presumption of public access. “In other words, [A]ll public records are subject to disclosure unless the Legislature has expressly provided to the contrary.” Williams v. Superior Court, 5 Cal. 4th 337 (1993). This presumption finds further support in the California Constitution, as amended by Proposition 59 in 2004. “A statute, court rule, or other authority, including those in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people's right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access.” Cal. Const. Art. 1 § 3(b)(2).

Please provide a determination on this request within 10 days of your receipt of it, and an even prompter reply if you can make that determination without having to review the records in question. If you determine that any or all of the information qualifies for an exemption from disclosure, please note whether, as is normally the case, the exemption is discretionary, and if so whether it is necessary in this case to exercise your discretion to withhold the information. If you determine that some but not all of the information is exempt from disclosure and that you intend to withhold it, please redact it for the time being and make the rest available as requested. In any event, please provide a signed notification citing the legal authorities on which you rely if you determine that any or all of the information is exempt and will not be disclosed.

Please apply a fee waiver to this request. If the request for a fee waiver is denied, please provide notification of any duplication costs exceeding $20 before you duplicate the records. If the request for a fee waiver is denied, please further provide an index of all other requests since 2014 for which a fee waiver was denied, and the reason therefor.

Please immediately publish this request and all correspondence between the city regarding this request to Vallejo NextRequest. Please disclose the records electronically by posting them to Vallejo NextRequest and via email to records@openvallejo.org. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch.

Thank you.


Received

July 1, 2019 via web


Departments

Police Department


Requester

Open Vallejo

Documents

Public

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Staff

Point of Contact

Joni Brown

Request Closed   Hide Public

Dear Open Vallejo,

 

As we have not heard from you on your interest in additional recordings, the City deems your request complete and is closing this request.  Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.  Thank you.

 

Samantha Chen

October 21, 2019, 4:54pm by Samantha Chen
External Message   Hide Public

Dear Open Vallejo,

 

The City is releasing additional records responsive to your request today. Below are links to two videos involving the discharge of a firearm by law enforcement, and five videos involving great bodily injury to a person from use of force by law enforcement. After this production, all videos involving officer-involved shootings under AB 748 from 2017 to 2019 will have been released, and all videos involving use of force resulting in great bodily injury under AB 748 from 2018 will have been released.

 

These videos were reviewed and redacted to protect a reasonable expectation of privacy of involved or uninvolved parties pursuant to Government Code section 6254(f)(4). A public agency may withhold and decline to disclose an audio or video recording of a critical incident, if release of the video is not in the public interest, or it would violate an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy. Here, the City has used redaction to blur the faces of witnesses, and private conversations regarding childcare arrangements.

 

Each video contains a summary regarding the arrests made.

 

Discharge of a Firearm by Law Enforcement

 

Use of Force Incident Resulting in Great Bodily Injury

 

The rest of the cases and videos can be located at the City’s website, where the City has created indices of available material. The indices are available at the end of memo dated June 27, 2019, available at http://www.cityofvallejo.net/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=15995854. You may request any of these items by paying fees to extract exempt material.

 

The Public Records Act requires the City to provide a written response when a records request is denied, either in whole or in part. (Gov. Code § 6255, subd. (b).) The Public Records Act also requires that notification of denial of any request for records must include the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial. (Gov. Code § 6253, subd. (d).) With the name and title provided below, in conjunction with the Vallejo Police Department and City Attorney's Office, this correspondence fulfills both of the aforementioned legal requirements.

 

Please feel free to contact me should you have any additional questions or concerns.  Thank you.

 

Samantha Chen

for BEST BEST & KRIEGER LLP

October 8, 2019, 11:04am by Samantha Chen (Staff)
External Message   Hide Public

Dear Open Vallejo,

 

My apologies.  This request was prematurely closed.  The City may have additional recordings responsive to your request.  We will update you soon.  Thank you.

 

Samantha Chen

September 9, 2019, 7:07pm by Samantha Chen (Staff)
Request Reopened Public
September 9, 2019, 7:05pm by Samantha Chen
Request Closed Public

 

September 7, 2019, 8:39pm by Samantha Chen
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Dear Open Vallejo,

 

The City does not have video or audio recordings for older incidents, including the one mentioned in your August 6, 2019 correspondence.  As the City has produced all records responsive to this production, it deems this request complete.  Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Samantha Chen

September 7, 2019, 8:38pm by Samantha Chen (Staff)
Request Published Public
August 16, 2019, 8:04am by Joni Brown, Administrative Analyst I
External Message Public
Thank you very much. We note that our request remains unpublished on NextRequest. We would appreciate it being published, along with our correspondence with the city and/or counsel. Thanks again.
August 15, 2019, 5:16pm by the requester via email
External Message   Hide Public

Dear Open Vallejo:

 

The City has released a video presentation, along with the raw footage, of the officer involved shooting that occurred on January 6, 2019.  The City has blurred portions of the video that are exempt from public disclosure on the basis of the privacy of the involved individual pursuant to Government Code section 6254(f)(4)(B).  You may access the materials here: 

bit.ly/criticalincident010619

 

I will consult with my client on the other shooting mentioned.

 

Thank you,

Samantha Chen

for BEST BEST & KRIEGER LLP

August 15, 2019, 3:37pm by Samantha Chen (Staff)
External Message   Hide Public
Dear Ms. Chen, What is the procedure for determining when critical incident disclosures will occur? For example, the Angel Ramos criminal investigation concluded months ago. The shooting occurred in 2017. Those materials, and others, should promptly be disclosed.
August 6, 2019, 2:06am by the requester via email
External Message   Hide Public

Dear Open Vallejo:

Here is an update to your request received on July 1, 2019: 

Any video or audio recording that relates to a critical incident, including: an incident involving the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer; and/or an incident in which the use of force by a peace officer or custodial officer against a person resulted in death or in great bodily injury.

 

The City's response is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • Video footage related to an officer-involved shooting that took place on January 6, 2019 has been withheld pursuant to Government Code section 6254(f)(4)(A)(ii) as disclosure would substantially interfere with an active investigation.  The estimated date of disclosure is August 15, 2019. 

 

Samantha Chen

for BEST BEST & KRIEGER LLP

August 5, 2019, 11:17pm by Samantha Chen (Staff)
Document(s) Released Public
Memo - Status of Providing Records Available under SB 1421.pdf
July 15, 2019, 3:43pm by Samantha Chen
Document(s) Released Public
Memo - Status of Providing Records Available under SB 1421 (062719 Release).pdf
July 15, 2019, 3:43pm by Samantha Chen
External Message   Hide Public

My office represents the City of Vallejo (the “City”) in connection with the City’s response to your PRA Request sent and received on July 1, 2019. I have been authorized by our client to provide an update on your request for records.

 

Below is your request, and the City’s response:

 

Your Request:

Any video or audio recording that relates to a critical incident, including: an incident involving the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer; and/or an incident in which the use of force by a peace officer or custodial officer against a person resulted in death or great bodily injury.

City’s Response:

Please see the memos being disclosed today regarding the status of items requested:         

  • March 8, 2019 Release
  • June 27, 2019 Release

 

 

The City is searching for, collecting, and reviewing records responsive to this request. The City will provide an update on disclosable records, if any, by August 2, 2019.

If any further questions or concerns arise, please feel free to contact me.

Samantha Chen

for BEST BEST & KRIEGER LLP

July 15, 2019, 3:41pm by Samantha Chen (Staff)
Department Assignment Public
Police Department
July 1, 2019, 5:35pm
Request Opened Public
Request received via web
July 1, 2019, 5:35pm