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May 12, 1999

Mr. John Steiner
Division Chief
City of Austin
P.O. Box 1088
Austin, Texas 78767-1088

OR99-1307

Dear Mr. Steiner:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 124767.

The City of Austin Police Department (the "department") received a request for the radio communication pertaining to the shooting of a certain individual. You claim that the requested information is excepted from disclosure under sections 552.103 and 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exceptions you claim and have reviewed the information submitted.

Section 552.108 excepts from disclosure information held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution if release of the information would interfere with the detection, investigation or prosecution of crime. Generally, a governmental body claiming an exception under section 552.108 must reasonably explain, if the information does not supply the explanation on its face, how and why the release of the requested information would interfere with law enforcement. See Gov't Code 552.108(a)(1), (b)(1), .301(b)(1); see also Ex parte Pruitt, 551 S.W.2d 706 (Tex. 1977). You state that the requested information relates to a pending criminal investigation. Accordingly, we find that release of the requested information would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime. See Houston Chronicle Publ'g Co. v. City of Houston, 531 S.W.2d 177 (Tex. Civ. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1975), writ ref'd n.r.e. per curiam, 536 S.W.2d 559 (Tex. 1976) (court delineates law enforcement interests that are present in active cases). Therefore, we conclude that you may withhold the information under section 552.108(a)(1). We note that you have the discretion to release all or part of the remaining information that is not otherwise confidential by law. Gov't Code 552.007.

We are resolving this matter with an informal letter ruling rather than with a published open records decision. This ruling is limited to the particular records at issue under the facts presented to us in this request and should not be relied upon as a previous determination regarding any other records. If you have questions about this ruling, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

Yen-Ha Le
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

YHL/nc

Ref.: ID# 124767

encl: Submitted audiotape

cc: Ms. Claire Osborn
Metro Reporter
Austin American-Statesman
P.O. Box 670
Austin, Texas 78767
(w/o enclosures)


 

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