TPD Responds to Large Public Records Request
December 24, 2014
The Tallahassee Police Department today, responded to a public records request from a national news media outlet related to Florida State University Athletes. The information provided is required to be released under Florida Public Records Law, and is being shared with local media as well, as part of TPD's commitment to transparency.
In September of 2014, TPD was contacted by a reporter with ESPN requesting any existing police records from TPD that contain the names of 360 specific individuals, identified by ESPN as Florida State University athletes. The reporter provided the names and in many cases the birthdates of the individuals. The public records request was processed by TPD's Records Department and, in turn, ESPN was provided over 300 police reports where the name provided by the reporter was mentioned as a witness, victim, suspect, reporting party, etc., in accordance with ESPN's request.
After collecting the cases requested, each was thoroughly reviewed to ensure all requirements were met according to Florida Public Records Law, as is standard procedure, prior to release to ESPN. During the process, it was discovered one case had a piece of evidence which was not immediately processed. The follow-up report details the steps taken to process the evidence in July 2014, which ultimately had no impact on the case. The case was subsequently reclosed. The incident involved a former FSU football player and no charges were filed after consultation with the State's Attorney's Office. The case, in its entirety, is attached to this release.
While several of the reports requested involve open and active cases, one of note, involves an aggravated assault by two men who are alleged to have brandished a firearm at a neighbor on July 17th, 2014. Dalvin Cook, a current FSU football player is listed as an associate in the case. The case is under investigation and once complete, it will be provided as an update to this release.
"We are committed to ensuring that every citizen of this community, including our university students, know that we take every report of possible criminal activity seriously," said Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo. We also have an obligation, under state law, to respond to national media requests such as this and have done so professionally and with a commitment to openness."
David Northway, TPD Public Information Office, (850) 891-4255
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