Brickbat: Broken Records


Last year, the Louisville Courier Journal filed an open records request with the Louisville, Kentucky, Metro police for all records regarding the sexual abuse of minors in the department's Explorers program by officers. The department said it did not have those records—they'd been turned over to the police. The newspaper appealed that decision, and now the department admits it did have those records, 738,000 of them, but allowed them to expire from its backup system after handing them over to the FBI. An attorney for the department insists it did not actually destroy any records because the FBI does have copies. But the newspaper's attorney says the department's move effectively makes it impossible for the media to obtain the records through state open records law.

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  2. Sexual predators or not, they were on the right side of the thin blue line and deserve protection. Good team effort.

    1. Those child molesting cops are the only thing protecting us from Soros funded Black Lives Matter socialists. If a few more kids need to be buggered so we can keep our right wing authoritarian rule then we must pay that cost.

      1. Child-rapists and sexual-predators run rampant in the WhiteAntifa/bLM movement – one more reason they want to defund the police.

        No-win situation.

        1. Maybe they should recruit as a safe space for degenerates.

  3. They lived up to their motto, “To serve and protect.”

    They got kids to serve (service) them and they protected themselves. We might not like that, but the important thing is that they went home safe.

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  4. This should be fairly easy – does the law require them to “not destroy” any records or does the law require them to “maintain” the records? I’ll bet the law requires them to maintain the records and if they no longer have access to the records, they haven’t been maintained. It doesn’t matter whether or not the records have been destroyed, if you encase the records in Lucite and drop them into the depths of the ocean you haven’t destroyed them either, but if they ain’t accessible, they haven’t been maintained.

    1. Picky, picky.

    2. I don’t think that’s the right framework because this is a spoliation argument, not a records retention argument. At least, that’s how it seems to me.

      If this were a corporate scenario, it would be easy. Company, you were on notice of the obligation to preserve (which the litigation over the records request would have certainly triggered). Company, you put the records in the custody of third-party X and are choosing to rely on them to meet your preservation requirements. Outsourcing of data storage is an allowed management decision, however, it does not change your responsibility for the data. Company, you have the obligation to get the data back in order to meet the production obligation. If you are unable to do so then by definition you have failed in your preservation obligations.

      Of course, it’s not a corporate scenario and governments (especially police departments) write all kinds of exceptions in for themselves. But that’s how it should be. They sent the data to the FBI and deleted their backup. Either they figure out how to get it back or they suffer the consequences of deleting it.

    3. I’m sure you’re local FFL will now be able to get away with “maintaining” copies of every 4473 on the surface of the Sun.

  5. So go ask the F.B.I. for a copy.
    What’s the big deal?


    2. The FBI’s copy of the records isn’t subject to the state law in question, and since its an ongoing investigation it probably isn’t subject to FOIA either

  6. Sounds like a criminal conspiracy, frankly. Somebody hit delete with a motive.

    1. Shut the fuck up Lard Skidmark.

  7. 738,000 records? What the heck is going on in Louisville when one police department, with one program, can rack up so many sexual abuse records that total three times the number of Americans who have died so far from Chicom-19.

    1. three times the number of Americans who have died so far from with Chicom-19.

    2. Different definition of “record”. These are almost certainly not individual incidences of abuse but individual documents relevant to an undisclosed number of abuse investigations.

      This could plausibly be the documentation behind a single case if, for example, you pulled a decade’s worth of email history for the suspected abuser or cloned his hard-drive for the investigation. Pulling tens or hundreds of thousands of documents during the investigation phase is not uncommon. The vast majority of those files will be irrelevant but unless you use modern collection tools (and who ever accused the police of efficiency), you won’t know they are irrelevant until after investigating them.

      1. Excuse me, the first sentence should read “… individual documents related to an undisclosed …”

  8. What are you trying to do? De-fun the police?

  9. Is this an example of possum fuck?

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  11. Everyone does this. If you are ever accused of a crime or are being sued, your best option is not a speedy trial, but delay, delay, delay… And don’t hand over anything if you can possibly avoid it. The longer you can wait, the more likely you can weasel your way out of it. People forget stuff, or move or die, records and evidence gets lost…
    If your are a “deep pocket” public institution or any large business for that matter, you will delay, delay, delay, to lower the probability that you will have to pay, pay, pay…
    Sure, I hate child molesters too, but I am not surprised that this police department did what they did. In fact, it is certain that some local public or private organization near you has done something very similar in the past. I am not saying it is good, I am just saying that being unhelpful and “losing“ stuff, whoops, is standard practice, not really a noteworthy exception to the rule of law. Nobody makes it easy to let themselves get sued. If this notion offends you, find out who pulled this kind of shit last in your local community and give them hell! Seriously. Remember Oliver North and his secretary… They were pissed at him, and threatened to lock him up for destroying all those documents, but he would have been a fool to do anything different.

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