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ACLU of Utah v. Utah Olympic Public Safety Command | GRAMA Request

01 January 2001 Published in Litigation Materials

ACLU of Utah v. Utah Olympic Public Safety Command

January 2, 2001

By U.S. Mail

Attn: Mr. Scott Folsom
Utah Olympic Public Safety Command
Public Safety Building
315 East 200 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Attn: Mr. Kelly J. Flint
Sr. Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs
Salt Lake Organizing Committee
299 South Main Street, Suite 1300
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

RE: Governmental Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA)

Dear Mr. Folsom and Mr. Flint,

On December 6, 2000, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) hosted an open house to explain the transportation plans for downtown Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Representatives of the Salt Lake City Police Department informed me that these plans include issuing a permit to SLOC that will cut off access to a major area of downtown Salt Lake City. Three entrances will be used by SLOC as checkpoints to search the general public entering the permitted area. These checkpoints will also serve as a way to prevent demonstrators from entering the permitted area with information and materials SLOC may find offensive. Thus, the permitted area has the potential to restrict access to the sidewalks and streets surrounding Olympic venues, otherwise known as traditional public forums, to those who would like to attend the events to peacefully protest and exercise their rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Further, in a December 13, 2000 article in the Deseret News entitled "SLOC to Cover Security Shortfall," the use of two "mobile field forces" is mentioned to deal with the problems of "massive protests or other disasters" during the Olympics. The ACLU is concerned that lumping together peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights and "other disasters" signifies the City’s belittling view of freedom of speech, and suggests that additional information must be presented to the public regarding the purpose and tactics of these "mobile field forces."

Therefore, pursuant to the Utah Governmental Records Access and Management Act, Ut. Code Ann. §§63-2-101 et. seq. I am writing to request public documents concerning the treatment of peaceful protesters during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Specifically, I request that you provide documents including:

A copy of the permit issued by Salt Lake City to SLOC, along with the application submitted by SLOC, and the rules and regulations governing consideration of the application, and any documents pertaining to the application or approval.

Locations that will be available or are being considered for potential demonstrators in, around, or adjacent to the Delta Center, Medals Plaza, Salt Palace, and Gallivan Center.

The rules and/or regulations of what will be allowed within the fenced off area of downtown Salt Lake City permitted to SLOC. This should include rules associated with bringing the following into the permitted area: signs, posters, flyers, leaflets, T-shirt’s or outside apparel messages, sound equipment, non-mechanical amplification devices, props, cell phones, two way radios, tables and chairs, and costumes. This list is not exhaustive.

Location of a "speakers corner" to be designated within the fenced off area of downtown Salt Lake City within the perimeters of the area permitted to SLOC.

If no "speakers corner" will be designated, the location of the alternative area that will allow demonstrators to reach their intended audience. This includes any area UOPSC is considering as a "permitted" area for demonstrators during the Olympics outside of the area permitted to SLOC.

Any information regarding the purpose or mission, and tactics of the two "mobile field forces" of 120 officers that will ensure a timely response to "massive protests or other disasters" along the Olympic theater, as stated in the Deseret News, December 13, 2000. This information should include information on training in crowd management or non-violence and the crowd control measures that will be employed, ie. stun guns, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and the like, as well as the criteria or standards that will govern the forces’ decisions to intervene and disrupt or shut down any protests.

Location of identification information on the outermost layer of the uniform of each officer.

Location of processing centers that will be set up if arrests of demonstrators were to take place during the Olympics.

If you have any questions about this request, please contact me. Please bill my office for any reasonable copying charge associated with providing the above information and documents.

Thank you for you prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Janelle Eurick
Staff Attorney
ACLU of Utah

CC: Mayor Rocky Anderson
451 South State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111