BEAUMONT, Texas (CN) – The (Beaumont) Examiner Newspaper sued the City of Beaumont and its police department, seeking an injunction to stop them from destroying video relating to NBA player Kendrick Perkins’ arrest at a city sports bar last summer.
Perkins, a native of Beaumont, plays forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
According to media reports and the complaint in Jefferson County Court, Perkins was arrested on Aug. 13 on charges of conduct and public intoxication at The Ticket sports bar, after an altercation with the bar manager.
The Examiner and its managing editor Jerry Jordan say they requested videotape and other evidence from the city under the Texas Open Records Act.
“The City of Beaumont refused and resisted this request, and required a ruling from the Texas Attorney General’s Office,” the complaint states. “On or about March 20, 2012, the Attorney General’s office rendered its decision, overruling in part the city’s objection and directing that the videotapes (redacted to exclude license plates) and other materials be produced.
“The notice of Attorney General’s decision was mailed to plaintiff and not received until on or about March 22, 2012.
“Separately, on March 21, 2012, Kendrick Perkins sought and obtained an Order of Expunction relating to the above-described offenses. … Even though the directive of the Attorney General’s Office (in response to a request that had been on file for some time) was issued and was received prior to the expunction, and even though the expunction is not final and may be subject to reconsideration, review, or appeal, the City of Beaumont has not agreed to release the items in question.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
The complaint continues: “Because of the facts stated above, as well as other facts apparent from the public record and media reports showing that the city has engaged in repeated acts to cover up the incident in question and to minimize the public’s awareness of the underlying facts of the Kendrick arrest, plaintiff believes that the city may attempt to destroy the items in question.
“Such destruction would constitute irreparable harm to plaintiff who would be left without adequate remedy at law.
“Plaintiff seeks, therefore a temporary restraining order from the court without notice, directing the City of Beaumont, all of its agencies and departments (including but not limited to the Beaumont Police Department, the Office of the City Attorney, and the Office of the City Manager) from taking any action to destroy, tape over, or obliterate, in whole or in part, any videotapes or other documentary evidence in its possession relating to the Perkins arrest, until further order of this court.” (Parentheses in original.)
The Examiner is represented by John Werner with Reaud, Morgan & Quinn, of Beaumont.