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July 20, 1999

Mr. Sim W. Goodall
Police Legal Advisor
Arlington Police Department
P.O. Box 1065
Arlington, Texas 76004-1065

OR99-2032

Dear Mr. Goodall:

You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter 552 of the Government Code. Your request was assigned ID# 127654.

The Arlington Police Department (the "department") received two requests for a certain "911" audiotape related to a shooting investigation. You claim that an excerpt of the requested information is excepted from disclosure under section 552.108 of the Government Code. We have considered the exception you claim and reviewed the submitted information.

Section 552.108(a)(1) of the Government Code provides:

    (a) Information held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime is excepted from the requirements of Section 552.021 if:

      (1) release of the information would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime[.]

Gov't Code 552.108.

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 explain that the requested information concerns an instance that is currently being investigated. You state that the investigation is still open.

We find that you have shown that the 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); Open Records Decision No. 216 (1978). We therefore conclude that section 552.108 of the Government Code excepts the requested record from required public disclosure, although you may choose to release all or part of the information at issue 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,

Sue M. Lee
Assistant Attorney General
Open Records Division

SML\nc

Ref: ID# 127654

Encl: Submitted documents

cc: Mr. Fil Alverado
Fox 4 News
1200 Summit Avenue
Fort Worth, Texas 76102

Mr. Clif Caldwell
KXAS TV %
3900 Barnett, Suite 850
Dallas, Texas 75201
(w/o enclosures)


 

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