A man suing the city for the release of internal police files has won — again.
Calvin Christian sued the city to release internal affairs files regarding a 2011 request. Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Schmidt ruled the city could not keep secret police documents, other than to redact names, birthdates, social security numbers and other personal information. Video interviews, the judge ruled, must be transcribed and redacted accordingly.
The ruling follows a previous ruling from a different judge that internal police files must be released.
Christian says this sets a precedent.
“Judge Schmidt ruled again that documents need to be open,” says Christian. “That basically means that internal affairs documents are public documents.”
The city had argued releasing such information would compromise investigations, reveal identities and would make public preliminary information.
Christian is also suing the city for shredding police documents he’d requested. Springfield attorney Don Craven is representing Christian in that suit. Christian is also involved in a federal civil suit, claiming police officers are unfairly targeting him due to the FOIA requests.