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What is the process for submitting a Freedom of Information Act Request to an agency of the City of New York?Best bet, I think, is to write the General Counsel for DSNY who appears to be Robert OrlinGeneral Counsel DSNY125 Worth Street. Room 710New York, N.Y. 10013(http://www.nyc.gov/html/dsny/htm...)In the letter I'd suggest:stating explicitly that you are making the request under FOIL lawasking to be consulted if reproduction/retrieval fees are involvedmaking it clear what format you'd like the information in: on signNow? machine-readable? on a CDROM? via FTP? It's not uncommon for agencies to provide electronic records in printed form if you don't explicitly ask for a digital copybe specific about exactly what records you're looking for. Do you need to know routes plus schedule information? If so, make sure you ask for both: don't assume they'll give you related information because they probably won't.don't forget to ask for "any and all associated documentation," especially if you're asking for electronic filesif you're requesting for academic purposes, I'd also say that upfrontOnce you submit, be prepared to wait....and wait.
How do I place a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request?Many federal agencies have the FOIA request process documented on their web sites. You could enter a Google query like “FOIA site:state.gov” and it will take you to the Department of State’s FOIA page. The key points in filing a request are:Be specific about what you want and how they can find it. Include the time period for the document.Tell the agency why you think they have what you are looking forIndicate how much money (if any) you are willing to pay for the search. Most simple requests are free, but if it takes a person a year to gather 10,000 pages, they will ask you to pay for itBe aware that some documents are exempt from FOIA including internal communications in the White House and personal information on living persons. For example, I cannot get your social-security number from SSA through FOIA.Be prepared to wait a long time, depending on the agency.File a timely appeal if they tell you don’t have information you are reasonably sure they have.Document every communication you have with the government. Sometimes an agency (and I am ashamed to say it) will intentionally delay a politically sensitive request. While there are statutory limits on how long they can wait before they acknowledge your request and commit to starting the search, there is no limit on how long they can take provide the information. You need the documentation in case you decide to file a FOIA lawsuit.
How could an American citizen use the Freedom of Information Act to find out the truth behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy?The premise of this question seems to be the supposition that two things might be true.That there exist items or an item that truthfully indicates that the assassination of President Kennedy occurred in a way substantially different than what has already been revealed to the hypothetical American citizen mentioned, who I presume only has access to the official accounts released to the general public by the American government. This supposition reflects a deep distrust of the USA’s government and a belief that a conspiracy to suppress the truth is actively suppressing important facts known to the conspirators. I don’t share this belief, but for sake of this answer let us suppose that is so.That the American government, being under the control of such conspirators who still suppress the actual facts known to them, has not destroyed evidence of both the facts of the death and the existence of the conspiracy to suppress those facts; and, for some unexplained reason, in a strange decision to place compliance with the Freedom of Information Act above the continuation of the conspiracy, abandons the suppression of the facts in those documents and releases them to a private individual delivering a broad demand referring to any such items or signNows if they exist. By the time the question asks us to believe this supposition, I no longer can hold the two presumptions in my mind simultaneously. It makes no sense whatsoever.Therefore, my answer must be that there is no method by which anyone, American citizen or not, could use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain any information contrary to the publicly released reports and conclusions already released to the public by the American government. Aside from corroborating details deemed too grotesque, violative of the Kennedy family’s privacy concerns or of prurient interest only, no additional information about the assassination’s nature would be obtained under the Act.By the way, I have traveled to the assassination scene myself, and peered out of the identical corner window, where Oswald was concealed behind the boxes and where his rifle was found abandoned. I walked the “grassy knoll and behind the wall dividing it from the lot behind. I viewed the scene from the two story structure at the far end of that lot. I observed the railroad overpass carefully. I looked at the tiny narrow opening for the storm drain some writers hypothesized a shooter could crawl and shoot from as the motorcade passed the knoll. I’m just an ordinary person who was there as a tourist, but I took my time and made my personal judgments based on firsthand observation of the perspectives, angles and distances. It is very easy when there to see how Oswald could have from his excellent placement and access fired the multiple shots by himself, two of which could have caused the injuries to both the President and Senator Connolly. Three shots were almost certainly fired, the first striking a hanging traffic signal about 25 feet from Oswald which coincided to obstruct the bullet as he traced the limo’s path with his rifle and scope. The next two found their marks. This accounts for every eyewitnesses’ description of the sounds and sights they observed. It just fits, no matter how hard it is for many to believe a loner could have placed those shots.Any proposed alternate location for another shooter, on the other hand, is pretty much revealed to be absurd from my personal on site viewing of what those would require, and the complete lack of a direct line of fire from any alternate location, and certainly lack of escape routes without open viewing of an exit by many people on that scene, none of which took place. Those do not fit the facts or the site layout.As an aside and for further corroboration of the local Dallas municipal service agencies’ incompetency, that traffic signal remained untouched and unexamined hanging where it was for many months after the shootings, then was replaced along with a general upgrade of such signals and discarded without any attention to it ever being indicated to have occurred. I guess the attitude was, why look there for evidence of a bullet that could never have signNowed the presidential limo anyway, since everyone investigating was instead only looking then for multiple bullets assumed they would have signNowed the car? Such are the results of searching when you think you already know what you are looking for.Of course, this leaves open how and with what deceptive tale other men may have put Oswald up to performing the murder, believing he would be celebrated by the communist world, and maybe that he would be rescued from the the scene by a driver afterwards (who of course never appeared). I have no real idea how Jack Ruby fit into the Oswald angle either, though it makes sense that he did but with short advance notice.In hindsight, it would have been pretty clear to determined organized killers’ masterminds that the Dallas police force and secret service of that time were disorganized to the point of near incompetency, and that some approach by Ruby would eventually have opened Oswald to him, just as it was apparent that some opportunity would eventually place Oswald close enough to have a reasonably good chance to shoot the President. Security in 1963 was pretty terrible compared to now, all an assassin needed was nerves of steel to pull something off, and the willingness to take major risks.Oswald probably amazed those who put him up to it by just walking away like he did, surviving after the shooting.The security forces charged with protecting a president were just not mentally prepared to ward off a high risk single shooter or a suicidal attempt on the president’s life, in those days.The mob had plenty of reasons to eliminate the Kennedy control of the USA at that time. Oswald was an unbalanced fool and social outcast with dreams of glory. We know that. We don’t know more and won’t ever be able to put those two facts together with actual evidence.
Do local police departments have to honor Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests? How would I go about making such a request?Unless it is an active investigation yes they are subject to FOIA. Sometimes all it takes is a simple letter but you do have to be specific on the information you want. Also you maybe charged copying fees. A phone call to the police on their non emergency number you can ask them if they have a special form you may find that they can be very helpful. There are other restrictions that they may place on the information you request if it involves a juvenile the name maybe block out also personal action maybe restricted. other than that I can not think of any thing else. Also you may check on line as a lot of information is out there on the web.
Does the Freedom of Information Act apply to city police? Could a private citizen without a lawyer receive an officer’s dash cam footage prior to court for a questionable traffic stop?If he was the one on the video he wouldn't need FOIA he could file for discovery and the state would have to provide it. They might argue against providing it but that would be a hard sell, you are the defendant after all and the state has the duty to prove their case and the dash cam is one way they try to do that. If they argue against giving it to you I would assume it hurts their case.. Fight even harder..
Why do I have to fill in the CITY and STATE fields on website forms? Why can't that information just be a derivative of the ZIP CODE field?As someone who has done exactly that, I can tell you exactly why I’d be cautious to do it again:Because first of all, you’d need to collect all the zip codes and what cities they can correspond to. That’s a lot more work than it sounds like, so you wind up paying someone else to use their database.Second, because that stuff changes. And if you’re not paying someone else to keep up with the changes, you’ll miss stuff.The next issue is that zipcodes cross city lines, especially when two cities grow together, or you’ve got zipcodes that cover large rural areas.Finally, even when you can nail down that Zip code XXXXX belongs strictly to city Y, someone will have a different unofficial view. Case in point, you’d be amazed how many times in the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area you’d find neighbors that consider themselves to be living in different cities. Some will put down Las Vegas even though they’re technically in Henderson, for example, just because everyone knows where Las Vegas is, but Henderson? Some want to avoid the city name Las Vegas because they want to distance themselves from its reputation. I think it’s CitiBank that has corporate headquarters in Las Vegas, but they got their headquarters officially designated a different city just so that people wouldn’t assume that they’re slimey.Seriously, it was far too much work, hand holding, and special case coding for a rather minor benefit. Personally, I’d like it if it worked, but it’s a human system, and that means chaos and cantankerousity.