The ACLU of Utah received an answer this week from the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office in response to our Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) request for the body camera footage of, and other information related to, the shooting of 18-year-old Abdi Mohamed on February 28, 2016.
We are posting the full letter below (downloadable at the end of this post), but here are the major takeaways:
- The County and City will NOT release body camera footage, or footage from security cameras in the area, of the shooting. Representatives of the District Attorney’s office say that because the investigation into the incident is still ongoing, body camera and security camera footage cannot be released.
- We also requested “after-incident reports,” and this request was denied. Again, the stated reason is because the investigation is still being conducted.
- We requested photographs related to the shooting of Abdi Mohamed. The County indicated that more than 500 photographs have been included as part of its investigation into the shooting. The County judged that 93 of those photos were responsive to our request; of those, they gave us 25 (the others were deemed by the County to be “protected” because the investigation is ongoing).
- We also requested “chronological logs,” “complaint logs,” “service calls” and “initial contact reports.” We received redacted documents in all these categories.
- The ACLU of Utah and cooperating attorney David Reymann will appeal this response to our initial GRAMA request. We disagree with the assessments of the County with regards to materials that should be “protected,” as the County’s position would mean the public would never get access to any records touching on an ongoing investigation. We believe the requested materials should be deemed publicly accessible under GRAMA.