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PR 21-02 White vs. Providence Police Department No violation

The Complainant alleged the Providence Police Department provided an unreasonable prepayment estimate for completing an APRA request seeking numerous video files or recordings related to police body worn camera footage. The evidence provided to this Office supported the City's contention that it would take significant time to review (and potentially redact) the requested files and that the Department needed to review the files prior to producing them to determine whether certain information in the videos were permitted or required to be redacted under the APRA and/or applicable confidentiality laws. Accordingly, this Office found that the Department's estimate in these circumstances was supported by the record and did not violate the APRA. This Office also found that the Department did not violate R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-4(d) by not providing a detailed itemization of costs because no such detailed itemization was requested. This Office did note that the records sought in this case shed light on the performance of law enforcement and noted that Complainant is also free to ask "[a] court [to] reduce or waive the fees for costs charged for search or retrieval if it determines that the information requested is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester." R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-4(e).

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