Surprise, Surprise, there is an incident report on the Michael Brown shooting, after all! After a long battle with journalists, civil liberties groups, and protesters Ferguson police have finally released the report, which was previously said not to exist.
The county prosecutor previously said that Ferguson police did not file an incident report from the shooting of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown because the case was immediately turned over to St. Louis County, but a report has materialized.
If you were expecting to learn something from the heavily-redacted and mostly-blank document–you’re not. Police have blacked out vital public information, leaving the majority of the report covered or blank. The most important pieces of the report, the victim’s name and a description of the events–are, of course, missing from the information released.
The American Civil Liberties Union says that the released document violates Missouri open records laws. “They are breaking the law,” said Tony Rothert, legal director of the Missouri ACLU. Where St. Louis County’s incident report only said “who, where, and when,” this report doesn’t even contain that much information.
“I’ve never seen an incident report that didn’t contain a description of the incident, at least on some basic level,” said Don Tittle, a Texas civil and criminal attorney. “It makes you wonder if they don’t want to commit to a story.”