FOIA: Muhammad Shooting to COPA

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 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 COPA 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 COPA regarding the Incident.

d. Recommendations for discipline

e. Communications from the Chicago Police Department and Johnson’s office.

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

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, Chicago Police Department, Mayor’s Office, or any member of those entities 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 COPA’s practices related to when to use mediation and or settlement agreements in the process of investigating allegations of police misconduct and or in the process of recommending discipline against Chicago Police Department officers.

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 – COPA responds to our FOIA with a nine page letter ( 064 Response – 2.25.2020 ) stating that our request is overly burdensome. They included as part of the letter a multi page list of the different elements that make up the case file in this case. Then asked us to narrow our request

So, CJP narrowed our request to the times listed below. When we get this group of records we will just file another request with COPA and go after more pieces of the complete file.

Items Requested on 2/29:

  • Item # 4  Preliminary Report
  • Item # 5  Original Case Incident Report
  • Item # 6  Tactical Response Report
  • Item # 7  Officer’s battery report
  • Item # 12 To/From Report Re: —— cell phone
  • Item # 20 Audio Interview 
  • Item # 23 Audio interview
  • Item # 25 To/From report re: encounter with ——-
  • Item # 28 Letter to complainant 
  • Item # 29 To/From Report Letter to ——— re notice of investigation
  • Item # 34 Video Recording
  • Item # 36 Photograph
  • Item # 38  Video recording
  • Item # 40 Video Recording
  • Item # 45 Audio recording
  • Item # 46 Audio Recording
  • Item # 53 Audio Interview
  • Item # 54 Audio Interview
  • Item # 55 Audio Interview 
  • Item # 56 General Progress Report
  • Item # 68 Audio Interview
  • Item # 72 Audio Interview
  • Item # 76 Audio Interview
  • Item # 79 Audio Interview
  • Item # 83 Response to request for in car camera (CD attached)
  • Item # 87 Updated original case incident report
  • Item # 88 Detective Supplementary Report
  • Item # 89 Detective Supplementary Report
  • Item # 90 Video Recording
  • Item # 91 Video Recording
  • Item # 92 Video Recording
  • Item # 93 Video Recording
  • Item # 94 Video Recording
  • Item # 95 Video Recording
  • Item # 97 Interview – Witness
  • Item # 98 Audio Recording
  • Item # 100 Audio interview
  • Item # 101 Audio Interview
  • Item # 104 Audio Interview
  • Item # 105 Audio Interview
  • Item # 120 Audio Interview 
  • Item # 144 Audio Interview
  • Item # 145 Statement of Police Officer
  • Item # 146 Statement of police officer 
  • Item # 150 Statement of police officer
  • Item # 151 Audio Interview
  • Item # 153 Original Incident Case Report
  • Item # 154 Detective Supplementary Report
  • Item # 155 Detective Supplementary Report
  • Item # 156 Detective Supplementary Report
  • Item # 157 Detective Supplementary Report
  • Item # 164 Disciplinary History
  • Police Board Hearing Decision 
  • Letter to/from Corporation Counsel
  • Command Channel Bypass
  • Report (other) Department concurrence findings non-concurrence penalty
  • Transmittal letter with file to Corp Counsel
  • Court Documents 
  • Additional Information – CR#1086285 Muhammad Signed PoBo w Charges
  • Additional Information – CR#1086285 Muhammad charges

We will keep you updated on what we get from COPA.

Attached is COPA’s response to your FOIA request received in our office on February 18, 2020.   064 Response – 2.25.2020

Thanks you.

2/29 – Hello,

So let’s narrow it down to the following items:
Item # 4  Preliminary Report
Item # 5  Original Case Incident Report
Item # 6  Tactical Response Report
Item # 7  Officer’s battery report
Item # 12 To/From Report Re: —— cell phone
Item # 20 Audio Interview 
Item # 23 Audio interview
Item # 25 To/From report re: encounter with ——-
Item # 28 Letter to complainant 
Item # 29 To/From Report Letter to ——— re notice of investigation
Item # 34 Video Recording
Item # 36 Photograph
Item # 38  Video recording
Item # 40 Video Recording
Item # 45 Audio recording
Item # 46 Audio Recording
Item # 53 Audio Interview
Item # 54 Audio Interview
Item # 55 Audio Interview 
Item # 56 General Progress Report
Item # 68 Audio Interview
Item # 72 Audio Interview
Item # 76 Audio Interview
Item # 79 Audio Interview
Item # 83 Response to request for in car camera (CD attached)
Item # 87 Updated original case incident report
Item # 88 Detective Supplementary Report
Item # 89 Detective Supplementary Report
Item # 90 Video Recording
Item # 91 Video Recording
Item # 92 Video Recording
Item # 93 Video Recording
Item # 94 Video Recording
Item # 95 Video Recording
Item # 97 Interview – Witness
Item # 98 Audio Recording
Item # 100 Audio interview
Item # 101 Audio Interview
Item # 104 Audio Interview
Item # 105 Audio Interview
Item # 120 Audio Interview 
Item # 144 Audio Interview
Item # 145 Statement of Police Officer
Item # 146 Statement of police officer 
Item # 150 Statement of police officer
Item # 151 Audio Interview
Item # 153 Original Incident Case Report
Item # 154 Detective Supplementary Report
Item # 155 Detective Supplementary Report
Item # 156 Detective Supplementary Report
Item # 157 Detective Supplementary Report
Item # 164 Disciplinary History
Police Board Hearing Decision 
Letter to/from Corporation Counsel
Command Channel Bypass
Report (other) Department concurrence findings non-concurrence penalty
Transmittal letter with file to Corp Counsel
Court Documents 
Additional Information – CR#1086285 Muhammad Signed PoBo w Charges
Additional Information – CR#1086285 Muhammad charges

Tracy

3/18 – Dear Ms. Siska,

Attached is COPA’s Repsonse (064 Tracy Siska Response – 3.18.2020.docx) regarding the above-referenced FOIA request.

Thank you.

Tyra Sherese Peterson

Paralegal II / FOIA Officer

Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA)

1615 W. Chicago Ave., 5th Floor, Chicago IL 60622

312-746-3609, ext. 1301

Author: Tracy Siska

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

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