Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jackson denies requests for Senator Horhn police report

The city of Jackson denied a public records request for a copy of the police incident report for Senator John Horhn's recent DUI arrest submitted by this website.  City Attorney Latrice Westbrook stated in an email denying the request:

I am denying all requests for this matter (as this case is still under investigation). The report that was released was done so without authorization. I will inform you if my decision changes.

If Ms. Westbrook is going to masquerade as an attorney, she might want to learn what the law actually says. Section 25-61-12 of the Mississippi Code states:

(2) (a) When in the possession of a law enforcement agency, investigative reports shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter; however, a law enforcement agency, in its discretion, may choose to make public all or any part of any investigative report.

(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to exempt from public disclosure a law enforcement incident report. An incident report shall be a public record. A law enforcement agency may release information in addition to the information contained in the incident report.

You may remember the city of Jackson pulled a similar stunt on the Heather Spencer case when JJ filed a public records request for that police incident report. In fact, the Ethics Commission ruled (citation: public records opinion no. R-08-002) in this website's favor and said the city could not use an exemption for investigations:

In the 2008 Regular Legislative Session, the Legislature amended Section 25-61-3 of the Act to create definitions of “incident report” and “investigative report.” Prior to these amendments, these terms were not specifically defined in the Act, although reports related to criminal investigations were protected from disclosure under Section 45-29-1, Miss. Code of 1972.

2.2 According to the Act, an “incident report” is a narrative description of an alleged offense if such description (1) exists and (2) does not contain investigative information. See Section 25-61-3(e). The statutory definition also specifies that an incident report includes, at a minimum, the name and identification of each person charged with and arrested for the alleged offense, the time, date and location of the alleged offense, and the property involved, to the extent the information is known. Nothing in the Act requires a public body to create a document labeled “incident report” and it is clear from the Act that the contents of a document determine whether it is an incident report. In other words, the title of a document is of very little, if any, significance when compared to the contents of the document.

2.3 An “investigative report” is defined under the Act as a record of a law enforcement agency containing information beyond the scope of the matters contained in an incident report. See Section 25-61-3(f). The Act delineates certain types of records that are considered investigative reports if those records are “beyond the scope of the matters contained in an incident report.” Id. The Act also defines a “law enforcement agency.” See Section 25-61-3(g).

2.4 The statutory definitions of “incident report” and “investigative report” are important
because documents that are investigative reports are clearly exempt from production under the Act, while documents containing a narrative description meeting the definition of an incident report are clearly public records subject to production. See Section 25-61-12(2)(a) & (c). The Commission also notes that nothing in the Act prohibits a public body from producing investigative reports, and the Act states a preference for production of all public records. See Section 25-61-12(2)(a) & (c); Section 25-61-1; and Section 25-61-2..

2.7 As it applies to the instant dispute, Jackson has in its possession documents that contain investigative information. Clearly these documents are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Section 25-61-3(f). However, these exempt documents admittedly contain informationthat meets the statutory definition of “incident report” under Section 25-61-3(e). To comply with the mandate in Section 25-61-5(2) as well as the public policy codified throughout the Act, Jackson must redact the exempt investigative material from the documents and produce the nonexempted incident report information. Failure to do so is a violation of the Act.

Such a gross violation of the law makes it appear the city is trying to protect Senator Horhn from further embarrassment.  Ms. Westbrook's decision is in clear violation of the law.  JJ is reviewing all possible remedies.  Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Those aren't the laws of the land in the Kush District KF.

Now, of course, if the arrested drunk driver was an esteemed local white conservative well, then, that would be a different story.

Anonymous said...

Have you requested similar information from Madison PD regarding Abigail? More people are wanting that mystery untangled than are interested in Horhn's DUI.

Kingfish said...

They may be the Republic of Kush but they still exist under the laws of the state of Mississippi.

Unless they are engaging in their own brand of nullification. I told you they were neo-secessionists.

Anonymous said...

Latrice is a joke but I would expect no less from the Lords of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

All you Great Americans that think Horhn is guilty just because a cop decided to stop and arrest him go look up the name Daniel Soto. Enough said, give it time to play out. Cops do lie you know. Oh, and I have never been arrested so don't go there.

Anonymous said...

I wish you would investigate Abigail Bonner with the same effort you are looking into this. But we all know why you aren't. This blog has become a haven for racists and sensationalists, and you are simply playing to the crowd.

Anonymous said...

the only report that is public record has names, addresses, times, and offense charged. the officer's arrest report is not public, nor are names of other witnesses, if any, nor any other evidence.

don't we know all that the "incident" report would contain?

Anonymous said...

@11:10 Horhn had a chance to call someone and get a ride home. He refused so he got arrested. Being an ass isnt illegal. Having no common sense isnt illegal. Using bad judgement twice got him arrested. You cant fix stupid!

Anonymous said...

There is no more that anyone can do about the Bonner case except the police. We all know she didnt kill herself. The problem is proving it. It probably will take awhile and someone will have to spill the beans. I doubt there was enough tissue left from decomposition to test but could be wrong. Butler Snow is in denial about all of it.

Anonymous said...

...go look up the name Daniel Soto.

You must be a complete JJ greenhorn if you, for even one minute, think readers here have never heard about Daniel Soto.

Anonymous said...

Have your own blog yet December 3, 2013 at 11:47 AM? You could elaborate on all your grievances there.

Anonymous said...

What does Butler Snow have to do with the Bonner investigation? I'm in the dark here....

Anonymous said...

Do not expect anything from the State Ethics Commission. Jackson denied my request, but gave me a forged memo dated 09-03-2012, Labor day when erbody @ the Hood building is off. The commission said the matter was closed.

Anonymous said...

We all know who Soto is and what he did. The thing is Soto never offered to let someone call a friend to get a ride instead of going to jail. Horhn was offered a deal..get a ride home because the cop was not going to let him drive anymore that night. Horhn refused so the cop arrested him. If this was a bad cop like Soto, then why did he offer to let him go if he got a ride? I really dont see what point your trying to make.

Micah Gober said...

This blog has become a haven for racists 11:47 AM

Racist....in other words 11:47 is mad liberal.

Anonymous said...

12:43 The deceased girl's father is a head honcho at Butler Snow, formerly of Jackson, now in Ridgeland. I don't know of amy specific Madison connection except 1) the family lives there and 2) BS is an 800 gorilla wherever it is. The
father also gave bizarre and misleading interviews in the first days after her initial disappearance.

As a tax-paying father of a 17 year old daughter in Madison who also likes to take walks I am royally po-ed that the MPD cannot reassure us that this was not a homicide. Maybe Queen Mary doesn't care if property values here go the way of South Jackson's because of concern over unsolved crimes (alleged crimes).

Kingfish said...

Ok, that's it for Bonner comments. You made your points.

Anonymous said...

Records that would prematurely release information that would impede the public
body’s enforcement, investigative or detection efforts

Records that would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial

Records that would impede or jeopardize a prosecutor's ability to prosecute the
alleged offense

Anonymous said...

I laughed that the in the Clarion Ledger's story about this issue they said "the city also denied a request from a local blogger". Kingfish - i knew they were referring to you.

Anonymous said...

They fear the legitimacy of the "local blogger" in the face of their incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish has done more for transparency and open records in the metro area than any other media outlet or journalist in the past 5 years.

Anonymous said...

Interesting this is the third thread where King has decreed "Alright, no more Abigail posts!" Connect the dots. Homicide or suicide, a girl is dead and an entire community is without information. Meanwhile, King feeds us juicy DUI tidbits suitable for gossip magazines.

And the 'start your own blog' parrot marches to that drum.

Anonymous said...

Keep on them KF. I hope you win a pulitzer one day

Pugnacious said...

Keep on them KF. I hope you win a pulitzer one day.

Don't think that KF won't "put Master on you!"

Anonymous said...

What do you mean?

"Keep on them KF. I hope you win a pulitzer one day.

Don't think that KF won't "put Master on you!"

December 3, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Treble Hook said...

Trollin' for topwater with a throwback like Hohrn. Get some twenty pound test and go big.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish; Will you please stop with the incessant posting as anonymous, praising your superior skills and intellect?

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