LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Las Vegas Police Department asked for hundreds of thousands of dollars from media outlets for electronic records related to the fatal Route 91 Harvest festival shooting in 2017, authorities said.
A lawyer for the Review-Journal and other news organizations asked the Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday to throw out the request because of “extraordinary use” fees, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Tuesday.
The police department produced emailed records to multiple outlets rather than responding to individual public records requests, media lawyer Maggie McLetchie said Tuesday.
It is a “self-created burden," McLetchie said in court papers.
Responding to requests for records such as evidence logs, interview reports and body camera footage would be costly and time consuming, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said early last year.
The Police Department offered to allow multiple outlets to examine the footage at police headquarters but about 9,000 hours were spent accumulating blurred and muted body camera footage costing them about $1 million, police lawyer Jackie Nichols said Tuesday.
The redaction of body camera footage “required a special system” from officers who would have been assigned to other duties, Nichols said. “That’s where a majority of this work comes in ... that is the purpose of seeking the extraordinary cost.”
The Review-Journal doesn’t get enough cooperation on public records requests, general counsel Benjamin Lipman said.
“We wish more government entities were willing to work with us to ensure public access to public records rather than dragging cases endlessly through the courts,” Lipman said. “But, we are always gratified by the attention paid by our Supreme Court justices when these issues come before them, and we look forward to the court’s decision.”