It’s dangerous to question authority.
This is how it started. Regardless of how you feel about open carry, this guy was not doing anything wrong. He was not breaking any law.
The officer disarmed him because he could. That might be sufficient justification for why a dog licks himself but in 2015, more is expected of officers.
So a few days later, the guy above filed a public information act request for information about the incident. Two days later, I filed a similar request and the guy above showed up to follow-up on his pending request. At that time, I witnessed the public information officer assure him the call sheet was public information, but she told him the department had 10 days to make the information available. He left without the requested information. I think it is a violation of the Texas Public Information Act.
Texas Government Code Sec. 552.221
Sec. 552.221. APPLICATION FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION; PRODUCTION OF PUBLIC INFORMATION. (a) An officer for public information of a governmental body shall promptly produce public information for inspection, duplication, or both on application by any person to the officer. In this subsection, “promptly” means as soon as possible under the circumstances, that is, within a reasonable time, without delay.
Oops, nothing there about 10 days.
Now to look a little farther in the Act.
Texas Government Code Sec. 552.353
Sec. 552.353. FAILURE OR REFUSAL OF OFFICER FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO OR COPYING OF PUBLIC INFORMATION. (a) An officer for public information, or the officer’s agent, commits an offense if, with criminal negligence, the officer or the officer’s agent fails or refuses to give access to, or to permit or provide copying of, public information to a requestor as provided by this chapter.
Once again, Nothing about 10 days.
There is also a requirement the Government Entity post a sign visible to BOTH the public AND the employees. I decided to visit with Chief Truehitt when I went back to pick up responsive information. It went kind of like this:
And here is the letter I sent the Chief after that meeting. The highlights are pretty simple. I relied on the comparison of Failure to Identify and Failure or Refusal to provide access to public information. I pointed out to the Chief, not only had he committed a Class “B” misdemeanor, he had it recorded on tape.
I followed up with the Chief and when I got hold of him, he said I would have to call a private attorney who represented the City. Due to the non-response of the Chief, I filed a public information act request for the video of his violation. Curiously, the video of the violation was missing.
The Chief thinks it is OK to shake down a citizen who is breaking no law, but when he is called out, he says call my lawyer. Consider what would have happened if the guy in the first video had told the officer he was not going to consent to a search of his person and told the officer to call his lawyer.