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Public Records Request: Video and Audio of James Boyd shooting in Albuquerque

Public Records Request: Video and Audio of James Boyd shooting in Albuquerque

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Published by Charlie Grapski
This is the public records request we have filed for all audio and video from the scene of the James Boyd murder in Albuquerque's Sandia foothills.
This is the public records request we have filed for all audio and video from the scene of the James Boyd murder in Albuquerque's Sandia foothills.

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Published by: Charlie Grapski on Jun 01, 2014
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10/01/2014

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Charle Arasim
2892 Aspen Leaf Ct SE.
!
 Albuquerque, NM 87124,
!
 Phone: 505-362-3561
!
 E-Mail: crarasim@gmail.com
Date: May 14, 2014
Via Email and Hand-Delivery
Public Records Custodian/IPRA Manager, Albuquerque Police Department Reynaldo Chavez 400 Roma Ave. NW #1  Albuquerque, NM 87102 (505)768-2007 chavezr@cabq.gov Dear : Mr. Chavez This is a formal request under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act ("IPRA") also known as the New Mexico Sunshine Law (NMSA 1978, Chapter 14, Article 2). I am formally requesting a copy of
any and all and complete audio and/or video recordings created on March 16th 2014 at the scene of the James Boyd shooting
. This includes, but is not limited to, any helmet camera, lapel camera, belt-tape or other audio or visual recordings.  As you know these record are indisputably public records covered by this law which includes "All documents, papers, letters, books, maps, tapes, photographs,
recordings 
 and other materials,
regardless 
 of physical form or characteristics" that are "used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body" that "relate to public business."  As you also know there has been no statutory exemption enacted that would pertain to this record. You will also be further aware that according to the New Mexico Supreme Court "a citizen's right to know is the rule and secrecy is the exeption." I am aware that in the past the City and the Police Department have attempted to claim that these records are
exempt 
 claiming a "blanket" open investigation exemption. However, as you are aware, no such exemption exists and has been enacted statutorily by the New Mexico legislature. Only if such a statutory exemption exists can these, or portions of these, records be lawfully withheld. New Mexico law does provide an explicitly enumerated list of records that pertain to a limited number of "law enforcement" records that
are exempt 
. (NMSA 14-2-1A(4))
"
law enforcement records that reveal
confidential sources, methods, information or individuals accused but not charged with a crime
. Law enforcement records include evidence in any form received or compiled in connection with a criminal investigation or prosecution by a law enforcement or prosecuting agency, including inactive matters or
 
 
2
closed investigations
to the extent that they contain the information listed in this  paragraph
;
This explicitly enumerated and highly limited list therefore includes
only 
 those
 portions thereof
that
reveal
(1) confidential sources, (2) [confidential] methods; (3) [confidential] information
; and
(4) individuals
accused but not charged 
 with a crime. Clearly the audio and video records requested herein do not fall under any of these four explicitly enumerated exemptions. If the language were deemed ambiguous the law requires that the presumption is for disclosure and not withholding of the records. But in this case the final sentence in this paragraph eliminates any such confusions by reiterating, in reference to the four enumerated categories in the first sentence, that the exemptions apply only
"to the extent that they contain the information listed in this paragraph."
Furthermore as clearly and explicitly set forth in the "Purpose of the act; declaration of public policy" (14-2-4 NMSA 1978) the New Mexico Legislature established that their intent was to ensure, by declaring it public policy, that all persons are
entitled 
 to the "greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of public officers and employees." The Legislature further unambiguously stated its intent and established as public policy that providing persons  with such records "is an
essential function 
 of a representative government and an
integral part 
 of the
routine uties
 
of public officers and employees.(14-2-5 NMSA)  As the designated Public Records Custodian for the City Council you have an obligation to provide
reasonable 
 access to copies of such public records "during usual business hours." (14-2-8 NMSA).  And while, at maximum, the legislation provides a
fifteen day 
 period to provide such records when
necessary 
 to retrieve and copy such records and a
three day 
 period upon receipt of the request to explain,
in writing 
, when such records, if not provided prior to that date, a date when the request will be fulfilled - the clear intent of the Legislature is not to deem this maximum period as
reasonable 
 in all cases but only when necessary to fulfill the request. The three day period indicates, at the extreme, what is considered
reasonable 
 when the records are not
immediately 
 available. Otherwise the legislation requires records, that are readily at hand and easily produced, to be provided without unnecessary delay - or in other words - "
immediately 
 or
as soon as is practicable 
 under the circumstances." (14-2-8(D) NMSA) It is also my understanding that you have already provided the requested records within a broader request made on April 1, 2014 my NM Compass and produced under that request on May 6th. Therefore you have already obtained and produced copies of the records requested herein and as such
have them readily at hand today 
. This requirement for timely production becomes even more important when a record is either or both of
 great public interest 
 and needed in a
timely manner 
 to be of use to the members of the public in addressing issues of public significance to the Council (which I believe will next be meeting this coming Thursday). The single set of records requested herein are already available with nothing to cause a minimal delay beyond the time it takes to make an electronic copy of the video/audio. Thus this request is clearly neither "excessively burdensome" nor "broad" in nature.

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