For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 32

are always asked about their years of experience,
number of arrests, and various encounters they
have had. Typically, these officers discuss the
number of drug or firearm arrests they have had
over years of on-the-job experience. They use
their on-the-job experience to substitute for any
explanation about their training. They conclude
with the fact that these on-the-job interactions
result in discovering contraband and arrests. But
the end does not justify the means. The bigger
question is why were these people stopped and
why were they arrested?
Determining what procedures or policies
police officers are taught or ordered to follow
can give insight into why your client was stopped
or arrested. One valuable source of this sort of
information, for example, are "Pennsylvania State
Police Shield Stop Contact Reports-Forms A, B,
and C," which are utilized by The Interdiction
Unit of Pennsylvania State Police. If your trooper
uses these forms, they can provide extremely
beneficial analytical data regarding the trooper's
habits and interactions with clients. These forms
will have "indicators" showing what factors
the officer considered before searching an
individual. Requesting even 3-months of records
about an individual officer will provide you with
information about how often a police officer cites
to a particular "indicator" and how often that
indication turns into an actual arrest.
Discovering what forms are implemented in
a police agency or ways in which police contacts
are tracked can assist you in analyzing patterns of
police actions or patterns of certain indicators used
by police officers to establish reasonable suspicion
or probable cause. In one case, a request of Shield
Stop Contact Reports for a 3-month period relating
to my client's state trooper revealed that 65%
of his stops were minorities, 68% were drivers
with out-of-state license plates, and that out of
85 stops in a 3-month time span, only 10 searches
occurred where 3 of those 10 yielded contraband.
Furthermore, in another client's case, an analysis
of 6-months of a trooper's car searches through
these same reports, revealed that out of 18 searches
based on probable cause, only 6 ever resulted in
contraband (3 of those 6 had an odor of marijuana
as a factor). This begs the question: are the officers

32

For The Defense

l

Vol. 4, Issue 4

truly basing their searches on probable cause or
are they just making educated guesses?

Preparing for Objections
Regarding RTK requests, all records are
presumed public unless they fall under a specific
privilege or exception.4 While there is a long
list of exceptions, the predominantly argued
exceptions fall under "personal or public safety,"5
"personal identification information,"6 or "records
related to criminal investigation."7 The burden
of proving that a record is exempt from public
access shall be on the agency by a preponderance
of the evidence.8 In arguing personal safety,
the agency must demonstrate a reasonable
likelihood of a substantial and demonstrable
risk to a person's personal security. To establish
this, there must be more than mere speculation
or conjecture.9 In arguing public safety, the
agency must show the record at issue relates to
a law enforcement or public safety activity, and
disclosure would be reasonably likely to threaten
public safety.10 Regarding records related to
criminal investigation, records are not considered
public if they are exempt under any other state or
federal law, including the Criminal History Record
Information Act [CHRIA].11 In short, CHRIA prevents
the disclosure of "investigative information" to
the public.12 "Investigative information" is defined
as "information assembled as a result of the
performance of any inquiry, formal or informal,
into a criminal incident or an allegation of criminal
wrongdoing and may include modus operandi
information."13

How to Effectively Respond to the
Objections
If these exceptions are claimed by a department
it is important to challenge them. An OOR denial
can be appealed on the OOR website. Keep in
mind that when an agency denies a request, they
must do so with specific reasons and citations to
authority.14 One significant way to avoid these
objections, particularly an objection based on
personal identification information, is to ask for
redacted information. For instance, requesting
information regarding specific witness statements



For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 4
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 5
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 6
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 7
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 8
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 9
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 10
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 11
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 12
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 13
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 14
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 15
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 16
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 17
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 18
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 19
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 20
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 21
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 22
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 23
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 24
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 25
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 26
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 27
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 28
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 29
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 30
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 31
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 32
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 33
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 34
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 35
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 36
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 37
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 38
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 39
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 40
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 41
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 42
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 43
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 44
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 45
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 46
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 47
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 48
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 49
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 50
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 51
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 52
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 53
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 54
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 55
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 56
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 57
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 58
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol6_issue1_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol5_issue4_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol5_issue3_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol5_issue2_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol5_issue1_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol4_issue4_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol4_issue3_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol4_issue2_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol4_issue1_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol3_issue4_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol3_issue3_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol3_issue2_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol3_issue1_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue4_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue3_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue2_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue1_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue4_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue3_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue2_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue1_2016
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com