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Greenwood refuses access to Jelani Barr arrest videos

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 6:36 pm News Flash Archive

This afternoon, Greenwood Police Chief Ray Moore denied The Taxpayers Channel's public records request for videos and recordings of the arrest of Jelani Barr on the evening of April 7th.

Our request was made after Mayor McAdams told the Greenwood Commonwealth on April 8th that the city police had their own video of the arrest.

In his letter denying our request, Chief Moore stated that our request to obtain copies of the dashcam videos and audio recordings of the arrest was denied because "they are part of an ongoing investigation and release of this information may jeopardize the integrity of this investigation."

Moore also denied TTC's records request for investigative reports and witness statements relating to the arrest.

Barr was arrested April 7th by Officer Randy Powell for allegedly refusing to comply with his order to leave the scene. Chief Moore repeated Powell's charges to the Commonwealth the next day.

Video taken by Barr, which captured the entire incident from start to finish, showed that Powell's and Moore's charges were completely false. The video showed Barr fully cooperated with police and obeyed their orders promptly. Powell then arrested Barr anyway and charged him with conduct that never actually took place.

Moore did provide TTC with a copy of Barr's arrest warrant, affidavit, and arrest report. They all regurgitate the same false charges Powell had made against Barr.

So far, the city has refused to drop charges against Barr, and his first court date is still set for May 10th.

Chief Moore's letter denying access to the videos, as well as the documents produced, may be viewed here: Barr arrest public records response

Moore provided TTC with copies of emails from Commonwealth reporter Bryn Stole from less than a month previous to Barr's arrest, in which Stole complained that Greenwood police officers had threatened the reporter if he continued to photograph the police at various crime scenes. The Chief promised Stole at that time that he would "address and correct this issue."

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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