It is fairly common knowledge that being an anarchist is fairly criminalized in the United States. So it comes as no surprise when the State tries to use one’s anarchist belief against them.
In this case, the Richmond City Police Department is using court proceedings to try and ‘compel’ me to give back some of the documents that we got using the Freedom of Information Act. I am the person named in the documents, because someone has to make the FOIA request. But the documents being requested was an idea that came from Richmond Copwatch. We wanted to get copies of the police protocols so we could know when the police are breaking their own rules.
We submitted our request, were informed that there were many different sets of protocols, so we asked for a list. Then we chose from the list. We got that information right before Christmas. We then scanned and uploaded all of the information onto the internet- to save others the trouble and expense of a FOIA request.
Today someone came to the Wingnut and hand delivered a package from the Office of the City Attorney of the City of Richmond. I opened up the envelope to find just 2 documents full of lawyer speak. No cover letter, no explanation. Just 2 documents not even addressed to me, but about me. Apparently the CITY OF RICHMOND POLICE CHIEF BRYAN NORWOOD and the CITY OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA are filing a complaint against me, the defendant Mo Karn (not even my legal name you sillies). They want some of their FOIA Documents back. Because they say they shouldn’t have given them to me, and importantly, I am a known and admitted anarchist.
So the first I hear of this is court documents. No email, no letter, no phone call asking for them back. Just a copy of a complaint they filed.
The second document they sent me today was an “EMERGENCY MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER AND TO COMPEL THE RETURN OF TACTICAL INFORMATION AND TO PREVENT THE DISCLOSURE OF SAID INFORMATION”
Apparently they want their information back. I don’t think they understand the internet. You can’t really get that information back. We’ve got it, the internet has it, and hundreds of people have looked at it. The documents they specifically request back are Emergency Operations Plan Part 1 of 2 Emergency Operations Plan Part 2 of 2, Canine Unit Manual, Crowd Management Team, Focus Mission Team Property Crimes Detectives Operating Manual, Homeland Security Criminal Intelligence Unit, Mobile Command Center Operating Manual, Mounted Unit Operating Manual, Traffic Enforcement Unit, Police Cyclist Operating Manual, and Police Segway Operating Manual. These are just some of the almost 50 documents we have made available at http://www.wingnutrva.org under the tab Richmond Police Department Documents.
Who knows if these motions will be approved by a judge. They don’t have a case number on them, and they don’t have a court date or any useful information like that at all.
I don’t believe the information in these documents is classified or should be exempt from FOIA. Its not like it is manuals on how to drive their various vehicles or anything actually explicit. Beyond that I definitely believe this has a lot more to do with politics. Their FIRST point for their motion is that “1. Defendant Mo Karn is a known and admitted anarchist. See generally https://anarchymo.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/foia-rocks.” Yup. And that has what to do with FOIA? Freedom of Information Act Except for Anarchists would be FOIAEFA. I didn’t request shit through FOIAEFA.
In the spirit of FOIA and making RPD documents available online, here are copies of the documents they sent me in the mail today.