Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Richmond Police Department Bringing Court Case Against Me?!? Who Me?

4 Jan. 2011 Anarchy Mo

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.
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

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 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” 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.

Emergency Motion for Protective Order by Richmond Police Department V. Mo

Complaint by Chief of Police Bryan Norwood And The City of Richmond V. Mo

FOIA'd Again at the Wingnut in Richmond

From Anarchy Mo

Today we received an interesting package from the City of Richmond, hand
delivered to our door.

The documents within informed us about a court case in the works (“The
Chief of Police Bryan Norwood and The City of Richmond v. Mo Karn”), and
include an:

“Emergency Motion for Protective Order and to Compel the Return of
Tactical Information and to Prevent the Disclosure of Said Information on
behalf of Plaintiffs Chief of Police Bryan Norwood and The City of
[FOIA = Fucking Orangutan Insurrection of @]

You can see the documents here (they are almost identical):

* Emergency Motion for Protective Order by Richmond Police Department V.
Mo Karn
* Complaint by Chief of Police Bryan Norwood And The City of Richmond V.Mo

What it boils down to is they’re trying to sue Mo Karn, saying some of the
police documents we received via the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) are
documents they shouldn’t have sent us, specifically ones including
“tactical plans”. They are going to attempt to get an order “(A)
compelling the return of certain exempt information, (B) preventing the
disclosure of this information to the general public, (C) enjoining the
defendant from publicizing this information, and (D) granting such other
relief as the Court deems appropriate.”

The first reason stated for this in the Emergency Motion is the most obvious:

“1. Defendant Mo Karn is a known and admitted anarchist. See generally

It goes on to detail most of the mundanely routine email conversation
between Mo and the Angela Harrison (Associate General Counsel, although
titled in the case documents as a “Program Manager”) of the RPD, to whom
our FOIA request was directed. When she mentioned that certain documents
included tactical plans, Mo stated very clearly, “I understand that
tactical plans may not be subject to FOIA. However if any of the manuals
and orders I have requested include tactical plans I would expect that
tactical plans sections to be blacked out, but the non-tactical
information surrounding them in the manual to still be included.”

In the official response to the FOIA request, the bit about redacting
information goes thusly: “in order to completely and properly respond
without negatively impacting public safety and our intense operational
responsibilities, the Department is entitled to and elects to utilize
seven additional work days to respond”.

Well, despite addressing those concerns and the seven days the RPD had to
go over the documents, apparently we got some information they thought we
shouldn’t have anyway. The Program Manager’s “production of these
documents exceeded the authority granted to her,” and she sent them
“without first obtaining permission to do so from Chief Norwood.”

Unfortunately that means not shit to us. If the RPD feels they shouldn’t
have sent out these documents, maybe they shouldn’t have done so. The idea
that they can sue anybody for having information that they gave us is
utterly ridiculous.

That said, the list of documents that the RPD feels you shouldn’t read
include the following:

* Emergency Operations Plan (Part 2)
* Canine Unit
* Crowd Management Team
* Focus Mission Team
* Homeland Security and Criminal Intelligence
* Mobile Command Center
* Mounted Unit
* Traffic Enforcement Unit
* Police Cyclist
* Police Segways

Sadly, we already uploaded ALL of these ostensibly public documents
(linked above) prior to learning about their illicit nature. We no longer
have the ability to remove them from the internet, or the public domain.
We encourage you to look through these documents and more on our Richmond
Police Department Documents page.

For our part we’re seeking legal counsel on the issue. If it ever goes to
court we promise you’ll hear about it.

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