McKinney Wants $79,000 for Police Records

     McKINNEY, Texas (CN) – McKinney, Texas demands $79,000 for records on the white police officer who was filmed pulling his gun on black teenagers in an incident that made national headlines, a news service says.
     Gawker Media said on Monday it filed a Public Information Act request with the city for records on former police Cpl. Eric Casebolt, including messages regarding his conduct.
     Casebolt resigned on June 9, shortly after the video went viral. He denied that race had anything to do with how he acted.
     Gawker said in a statement: “Given the stratospheric total number – and the fact that nearly every email client on the planet has some sort of search function – it’s hard to read the letter as anything other than a deliberate attempt to conceal information. We’ll be filing an appeal.”
     A 7-minute video uploaded to YouTube on June 6 shows Casebolt and 11 other officers responding to calls of fights and uninvited guests at a privately owned community swimming pool at the Craig Ranch master planned community.
     It shows Casebolt screaming profanity at black male teenagers, telling them to get on the ground, while he repeatedly yells at a group of teenage girls to leave.
     Casebolt wrestles 15-year-old Dajerria Becton of McKinney to the ground. Several teenagers are shown crying and screaming while surrounding Casebolt, who unholsters his service weapon and appears to point it at the two black male teenagers closest to him, who run away. Casebolt then reholsters his gun and pins the screaming girl to the ground with his knees. She can be heard repeatedly asking for her mother.
     Casebolt apologized for his actions, ending investigations by the police department and city manager. He blamed the stress of responding to two suicide calls earlier that day – not racism – for his response.
     At least six of the teenagers have filed administrative complaints with the city, claiming Casebolt used excessive force .
     Gawker, wondering aloud whether McKinney is “still corresponding via telegram,” said the city’s bill was out of line.
     “The city arrived at that extraordinary figure after estimating that hiring a programmer to execute the grueling and complex task of searching through old emails would cost $28.50 per hour, and that the search for emails about Casebolt would take 2,231 hours of said programmer’s time,” Gawker said.
     “That only comes to about $63,000; the bill also includes $14,726 to cover the actual time a computer resource takes to execute a particular program.”
     Gawker requested all emails regarding Casebolt’s conduct since 2005, when he was hired.
     “According to the letter, emails maintained by the city before March 1, 2014, ‘are not in a format that is searchable by city personnel,’ and making the emails searchable would require ‘programming personnel to execute an existing program or to create a new program so that requested information may be accessed and copied,'” Gawker said.
     McKinney’s attorney Lisa Mares, with Brown Hofmeister in Richardson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon. In her letter responding to Gawker’s request, Mares said there may be a cheaper way to get the information.
     “For instance, if you limit the scope of your request from an approximate 9 years and 10-month time period to the 2014-2015 time period and identify the city employees whose e-mail accounts must be searched, the city can conduct a more focused search for the requested information, which will reduce the anticipated costs for obtaining the information you seek,” the 3-page letter dated June 22 stated.

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