FOIA: Muhammad Shooting to Chicago Police Board

Below is CJP’s FOIA in the Sgt. Khalil Muhammad case to the Chicago Police Board in his unjustified shooting, and subsequent murder, of Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes in the Morgan Park Neighborhood back in August of 2017.

This is part of a series of FOIAs that CJP is filing to shed light on the highly questionable mediation of his pending termination case in front of the Chicago Police Board that resulted in a plea agreement for Sgt. Muhammad of a 180 day suspension rather than termination. As we file the subsequent FOIAs we will be posting links. Also we will be posting responses we get from the agencies. You can find links to all of our FOIAs in in this case here.

Below is the content of our FOIA to the Chicago Police Board filed on 2/15/2020.

In accordance with Definitions and Instructions below and the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I request that your office provide the following public records: 

1.     All video and audio recordings of any kind of Sgt. Khalil Muhammad’s Aug. 13, 2017 off-duty shooting of unarmed teenager Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes in the Morgan Park neighborhood of Chicago (the “Incident”) –Board Case # 19 PB 2956.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:

a.     Electronic recordings from cell phones

b.     Electronic recordings from nearby security cameras collected by Police as evidence or otherwise

c.     Bodycam footage from Muhammad.

d.     Surveillance video showing Muhammad driving past Hayes without stopping.

e.     Video of the Incident reviewed by any members of the Board.

f.      Video of the Incident reviewed by any hearing officers employed by the Board.

2.     All documents regarding the “Incident”.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:

a.     Police reports regarding the Incident.

b.     Statements regarding the Incident.

c.     Evidence reviewed or considered by members of the Board regarding the Incident.

d.     Evidence reviewed or considered by any hearing officers employed by the Board regarding the Incident.

e.     Evidence in the Record of Proceedings before the Board.

f.      The “stipulation” filed by the City with the Board in October, 2019, including all 11 exhibits to same.

g.     Any documents or motions field by the City with the Board regarding the Incident. 

h.     Any charges filed by the City with the Board regarding the Incident.

i.      Any final decisions handed down by the Board regarding the Incident. 

3.     All documents regarding the “Plea Agreement”.

4.     All documents regarding the Board’s decision not to fire Muhammad.

5.     All documents regarding the Board’s decision that Muhammad’s use of deadly force was unjustified.

6.     The transcript and/or any notes or recordings (or documents reflecting) Muhammad’s statement(s) about the Incident.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:

a.     Muhammad’s statement(s) to the Police.

b.     Muhammad’s statement(s) to COPA.

7.     COPA’s summary and findings about the Incident.

8.     All documents (including electronic documents and communications) referring, regarding or relating to Hayes, the Incident, the Plea Agreement, negotiation of the Plea Agreement, COPAs decision or analysis of the Incident, and/or the Board’s decision or analysis of the Incident, including drafts thereof.

9.     Communications, including but limited to electronic communications and summaries of same (email, text, instant messaging of any kind, voicemail, etc.) to or from the Police Board or any member of the Police Board regarding the Incident, the Plea Agreement, the Board’s decision not to fire Muhammad, and/or the Board’s decision that Muhammad’s use of deadly force was unjustified.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:

a.     electronic communications to or from COPA regarding the topics included above;

b.     electronic communications to or from the Mayor’s Office or anyone from the Mayor’s Office or offices regarding the topics included above;

c.     electronic communications to or from the CPD regarding the topics included above;

d.     electronic communications to or from amongst Police Board members regarding the topics included above; and/or

e.     communications of any kind to or from anyone related to the bad publicity the Board’s decision received after it was made public.  10. All policies, procedures, regulations, guidelines, rules, protocols, legislation, ordinances, or laws (official or unofficial, binding or non-binding) that guide, authorize, explain or detail the Board’s practices related to whether and when to accept a settlement agreement between the City of Chicago or any of its departments and police officers who are currently or reasonably believe they will be subject to review by the Board in current or future proceedings.

10. All policies, procedures, regulations, guidelines, rules, protocols, legislation, ordinances, or laws (official or unofficial, binding or non-binding) that guide, authorize, explain or detail the Board’s practices related to whether and when to accept a settlement agreement between the City of Chicago or any of its departments and police officers who are currently or reasonably believe they will be subject to review by the Board in current or future proceedings.

DEFINITIONS
“Document” and/or “Documents” means any documents or electronically stored information of any kind—including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations—stored in any medium from which information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form.

The “Incident” means Sgt. Khalil Muhammad’s Aug. 13, 2017 off-duty shooting of unarmed teenager Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes in the Morgan Park neighborhood of Chicago. The Incident is the basis for Chicago Police Board Case # 19 PB 2956.

“Muhammad” means Police Sgt. Khalil Muhammad.

Hayes means Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes

The “Analysis” means the analysis of Muhammad’s statement and the Incident by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

“COPA” means the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

“Johnson” means ex-Superintendent of Police Eddie Johnson.

The “Plea Agreement” means Muhammad’s plea agreement with the State’s Attorney’s Office in which, according to news reports, Muhammad admitted that the 2017 shooting was “without lawful justification” in exchange for a 180-day suspension.

Emanuel means ex-Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Lightfoot means Mayor Lightfoot.

The “Board” means the Police Board. This includes, individually and collectively, President Ghian Foreman and Vice President Paula Wolff as well as Matthew C. Crowl, Eva-Dina Delgado, Steve Flores, John P. O’Malley Jr., Andrea L. Zopp, Rev. Michael Eaddy and Rhoda D. Sweeney.

INSTRUCTIONS
If the agency withholds any document or information pertinent to the requests made herein, please identify the document or information in as much detail as is possible, and detail in specific language why each document or piece of information is being withheld.

If any information requested herein is withheld on the basis of a claim of privilege or other protection as material prepared in anticipation of litigation or trial, then that claim shall be made expressly in a writing that describes the nature of the Documents, Communications, or Things not produced or disclosed in a manner that will enable us to assess the applicability of the privilege or protection. With regard to each claim of privilege or protection, the following information should be provided in the response or the objection:

(a) the type of Document, e.g., letter or memorandum;

(b) general subject matter of the Document;

(c) the date of the Document;

(d) such other information as is sufficient to identify the Document for a subpoena duces tecum, including, where appropriate, the author, addressee, and any other recipient of the Document, and, where not apparent, the relationship of the author, addressee, and any other recipient to each other; and

(e) the nature of the privilege or protection;

(f) if applicable, the litigation or trial of which he document was created in anticipation.

If any Document identified herein has been lost, discarded, or destroyed, each such Document should be identified as completely as possible, including as to each such Document, its date, general nature (e.g., letter, memorandum, telegram, telex, photograph, computer printout), subject matter, each author or originator, each person indicated as an addressee or copy recipient, and its former custodian(s). In addition, as to each such Document, the following information shall be supplied:

(a) date of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(b) manner of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(c) reason for disposal or destruction, or any explanation of loss;

(d) persons authorizing the disposal or destruction;

(e) persons having knowledge of the disposal, destruction, or loss; and

(f) persons who destroyed, lost, or disposed or the Document or Thing.

I look forward to hearing from you in writing within five working days, as required by the Act 5 ILCS 140(3).  Please direct all questions or responses to this FOIA request to this email address by responding to this email. 

Updates

2/25 – Dear Mr. Siska,

I write in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (re-printed below), which was received in the office of the Police Board on February 18, 2020. Your request is granted in part and denied in part.

Available for pick up at the Police Board office (or by mail upon request) are two discs containing the complete record of proceedings of Case No. 19 PB 2956, Khalil Muhammad, except as follows: I have redacted from the record of proceedings medical records, home or personal telephone numbers, and home addresses, as this information is exempt under 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(b), which exempts from disclosure “private information.” See 5 ILCS 140/2 (c-5) for a definition of “private information.”

Any other records related to this case are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(n), which exempts “[r]ecords relating to a public body’s adjudication of employee grievances or disciplinary cases; however this exemption shall not extend to the final outcome of cases in which discipline is imposed.” 

In addition, the minutes of the closed meetings at which discussion of this case took place are exempt from disclosure under FOIA pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(l), which exempts “Minutes of meetings of public bodies closed to the public as provided in the Open Meetings Act until the public body makes the minutes available to the public under Section 2.06 of the Open Meetings Act.”  The Police Board has not made these minutes available to the public under the OMA. The minutes are therefore exempt from disclosure under Section 7(1)(l) of the FOIA. In addition, the Board has determined that the recordings of these closed meetings require confidential treatment and does not consent to their disclosure; these recordings therefore shall not be open for public inspection (5 ILCS 120/2.06(e)).

The sections of the Municipal Code of Chicago and the Police Board’s Rules of Procedure, which govern the Board’s handling of disciplinary cases, are available on the Board’s website at ChicagoPoliceBoard.org

To the extent that your FOIA request has been denied, you have a right of review by the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor, who may be contacted at 500 South Second Street, Springfield, Illinois 62706, or by telephone at 1-877-299-3642.  You may also seek judicial review of a denial under 5 ILCS 140/11 of the FOIA.

Sincerely,

Max A. Caproni

Executive Director

Chicago Police Board

30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1220

Chicago, IL 60602

Office (direct): 312-742-3259

Mobile: 312-907-0008

Max.Caproni@cityofchicago.org

ChicagoPoliceBoard.org

2/27 – Max,
Please detail what other records you are talking about. The FOIA requires that public bodies detail the records they maintain and then cite exemptions for each type of record. 
Tracy Siska

2/27 – Tracy,

I do not see this requirement in Section 9 of the FOIA. Please let me know to which section(s) of the FOIA you are referring in your statement “The FOIA requires that public bodies detail the records they maintain and then cite exemptions for each type of record.”

Thanks very much,

Max

Here are the records that the Chicago Police Board has turned over to CJP as of 3/20/20

Appearances

M for Discovery Response

M for Discovery

Notice and Charges

Protective Order 2019 08 01

Status 2019 06 25

Status 2019 08 01

Status 2019 09 12

Stipulation Exhibit A

Stipulation Exhibit B Redacted

Stipulation Exhibit F

Stipulation Exhibit G

Stipulation Exhibit H Redacted

Stipulation E Exhibit Enhanced

Stipulation Exhibit I

Stipulation Exhibit J

Stipulation Exhibit D

Stipulation Exhibit C

Stipulation Exhibit K

Stipulation Redacted

Transmittals

CJP will author and post a formal response to the Chicago Police Board in the near future about the records they are withholding in the Sgt. Muhammad shooting case.

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

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