By now thousands have read the Salon article about the massive cover up from St. Louis police departments regarding Mike Brown‘s death and related incidents. Argus Streaming News had a chance to speak to the man interviewed in that article, Charlie Grapski.
“I think people need to get the big picture,” Grapski states, “and [the Salon piece] gave a little glimpse of part of the picture.”
Grapski made his initial request for an incident report after the ACLU was denied one. St. Louis county obliged Charlie with “an” incident report, but the information was useless and it was clearly created two days after he made the request. When Grapski asked the county about this lack of fulfilling the sunshine law requirements, he found out that the county lawyers provided the incomplete report stating that is all they need to provide based on the law. This is not the case. Under the law, there are five components agencies must provide and the key one was missing: the circumstances of the shooting incident itself.
When Grapski pressed the county further, they claimed they did not have the incident report, and that Ferguson PD would have it. When he asked Ferguson PD, they claimed they don’t have to produce the report because it’s under investigation.
Grapski stated, “There are incident reports, and there are investigation reports. Incident reports are open to the public at all times while investigation reports are closed.”
Keep in mind Charlie has just been pressing for the INCIDENT report initially. The definition of an investigation report is “a report in response to an incident report.” Well, where is the initial incident report?
“They’re playing games,” Grapski says. “I’ve seen it all over the country. These officials do not like the law, and they don’t think they’re accountable.”
To get to the bottom of this, researchers can’t just prove they made an error with these records. They must prove that officials in Ferguson are deliberately holding back information. This will put a stop to similar actions in the future by all municipalities around the country.
Grapski states,”That’s why it’s so important to bring litigation … and strategic litigation … to prove that [the police] knew what they were doing [when they violated the sunshine law].”
Argus Streaming News will continue to cover this investigation into these unconstitutional practices with more from Charlie Grapski. He has acquired a prominent national attorney willing to do this expensive litigation case mostly pro-bono. He must, however, come up with the initial court fees in order for this attorney to take the case and push it to the Missouri Supreme Court. If you would like to help Charlie out with this undertaking that will have impact across the country for average citizens, here is the link to donate to the cause.
See Also: “Department of Justice Denies Ferguson Claims on FOIA Requests” from Argus Streaming News.
Crossposted from Argus Streaming News.
Content posted to MyMPN open blogs is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to MintPress News.