The Crime Scene - To Serve and Inform

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Richmond police drop demand for documents

By Tom Jackman
Tom Jackman

The Richmond Police Department is dropping its demand for the return of dozens of internal documents it provided to a group called Richmond Copwatch, a week after filing suit in Richmond Circuit Court seeking an emergency protective order.

The 600 pages of documents were supplied last month, at a cost of $89.25, after a Freedom of Information Act request by an anarchist who uses the name "Mo Karn," short for "Mo Karnage."

Richmond police turned over materials such as their Emergency Operations Plan, the Homeland Security Criminal Intelligence Unit Operating Manual and the Mobile Command Center Operating Manual.

Karn then put them online.

The documents don't appear to reveal any specific police secrets, but Richmond Chief Bryan T. Norwood filed suit on Jan. 4 saying that "dissemination of these documents in any form to the public jeopardizes and endangers Richmond's police officers and citizens."

Karn took the suit to the American Civil Liberties Union, which agreed to represent her, and filed a response challenging the police on First Amendment grounds.

The ACLU's executive director, Kent Willis, said that once the documents were released, citizens were free to do with them as they pleased.

Richmond police apparently recognized that they faced a losing battle, and the ACLU said Tuesday that the police were withdrawing their legal action. "The city never had a legal leg to stand on," Willis said, "and no practical means, under any circumstances, of retrieving the information once it was posted on the internet."

Richmond police spokesman Gene Lepley referred a request for comment to Tammy D. Hawley, the press secretary for Mayor Dwight C. Jones. Hawley did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but she told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "We don't want to waste city resources."

By Tom Jackman  | January 11, 2011; 12:13 PM ET
Categories:  Tom Jackman, Updates, Virginia  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Man arrested for Md. Marine's death
Next: 11th 2011 homicide in Pr. George's

Comments

nice to read about some common sense coming out of Richmond to save everyone some time, trouble and money.

now if onlu cuccinelli would stop all his frivilous money-wasting attention-centered anti-federal government nonsense lawsuits.

Posted by: MarilynManson | January 11, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company