By Marisa Demarco
— Reporter Carolyn Carlson, Managing Editor Margaret Wright and I just went down to the Albuquerque Police Department’s records office to pick up the results of an IPRA request I filed on April 1 for all of the audio and video of the police department’s fatal shootings since 2010. Here’s a blow-by-blow of what happened.
The clerk at the records office told us to check in with the APD security desk. We did, and the officer there called up to say we were there to pick up the results of an IPRA request. We waited in the lobby, and after about five minutes a city IPRA specialist came down with three bulky manila envelopes with my name on them. She handed them to us, and we returned to the records office to pay the $1,160 fee.
I turned over the cash, and signed the IPRA office’s invoice. The clerk went to write or print a receipt. But then she returned with the money, saying the city attorney had decided not to release the records Wright was holding. She returned our cash to us.
We held onto the records. I called former New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Director Gwyneth Doland. Carlson made some calls to consult an attorney. Wright snapped photos.
The IPRA specialist said she had to take the records out of the room to ask someone a question. I replied that I wasn’t comfortable with them leaving the room. She said it didn’t matter whether I was comfortable because I hadn’t paid (remember, the clerk gave us our money back). We waited. Eventually, David Torres (whose title I’m not yet sure of) came in to say we could have them after all, so we re-paid and left.
GOOD for you!!! I wonder how much you will discover is missing and how much has been redacted.
$1,160 fee? Is that normal for an IPRA request?
Thanks for your hard work making this happen!
thank you for the work you do.
Will be interested in what you got. I am curious about the gun in the Mary Hawkes case. Do we have any info on the provenance of it yet?
Thank you for obtaining these records.
Because there are no quatations on all this she said you said stuff it seems as though there were things that were left out. I am more curious as to what the IPRA dept has to say about what happened about this event. Remember there are always two sides to every story. But then again this is the news so we all tend to believe what is said right? I was taught not to jump the gun on what you see or what you read until you actually have all the facts. Personally I am proud of APD and all their staff for all that they do.
I just found your comment floating in our spam. My apologies for not getting it posted sooner.
We would love to hear from the staff, too, and have asked a lot of questions that have so far gone unanswered. Nothing that I can remember was left out of this account. I wrote it as soon as we got near a computer after we got the records that day. That’s actually why it’s a little bit longer and more detailed.
I wish we had the encounter recorded. That’s my mistake. When we were heading to the records office, Carlson suggested we record the interaction, and I said something like, “I’m sure we don’t need to. It will just be us paying for something and leaving.” I really expected a run-of-the-mill experience.
This particular issue isn’t about liking or disliking police officers or APD staff. It’s about how the city handles public records requests for everyone, not just the Compass.