10 AM Today – Hearing to Determine if All Harith “Snoop” Augustus Videos Should be Released

City is Defying FOIA Law by Refusing to Release Videos

South Shore community floods the streets in response to the July 14th police shooting of Harith “Snoop” Augustus

This morning a Cook County judge will hold a hearing to determine if the Chicago Police Department should be forced under the Illinois Freedom Of Information Act to release all videos surrounding the controversial July 14th police killing of South Shore barber Harith “Snoop” Augustus, the father and caregiver of a 5-year-old daughter.

In an August 7 filing, the City of Chicago took the position that under “COPA’s Video Release Policy” it was not obligated to immediately release anything more than the one edited video the Police Department had already released.

In response, in a motion in the case of William Calloway v. City of Chicago, 18 CH 08965, plaintiff’s attorney cites the plain language of the FOIA law,

“All records in the custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying. Any public body that asserts that a record is exempt from disclosure has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that it is exempt.” 5 ILCS 140/1.2.

Attorneys for the plaintiff note that the City is making the same anti-transparency arguments that it lost in the Laquan McDonald shooting video case.

WHEN: 10 a.m., Thursday, August 16

WHERE: Courtroom 2408, Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington Street, Chicago

WHO: The plaintiff is civil rights activist William Calloway.

Mr. Calloway is represented by expert FOIA attorneys Matt Topic and Joshua Burday of the civil rights law firm Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law.

Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms and was the firm whose FOIA suit forced the 2015 release of the Laquan McDonald police shooting video, prompting a wave of calls for reform of the Chicago Police Department. Over the past decade, the firm has won more multi-million-dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country. A copy of the suit, William Calloway v. Chicago Police Department, No. 2018 CH 08965, is available here.

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