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Public Records Analysis

Some basic ideas for activists

Who suspect police infiltration
Getting Public Records is Easy
The hard part is not the request

The real work is the analysis
Read Everything You Get
When you get a lot of records, read them all.
If you have too many records to read, share.
Organize a party to read through them
together, and discuss them.
Post them so that others can also read though
them with you. (But - consider privacy first!)
Be careful who you invite to read through police
Police reports are often wrong
but people believe what they read, especially after
they forget where they read it.
If you are searching for a spy, dont invite the spy to
your records reading party.

Categories of Records
Broadly, public records held by LE Agencies fall
into three categories for our purposes:
Records, and
are these broad categories.

Index Information: This category includes lists
of who works for a Department, which cars
they own, what weapons they deploy, which
classes of records they hold, who uses which
phone number. These lists are usually easy to
obtain, simple to describe, and exist for every
Agency or Department. They help identify
specific employees or agents whose records
would be of interest in a specific follow up
Index (cont)
The single most important concept about
Index Information is that it isnt ONLY in the
hands of LE Agencies.
Voter Registrations, Property Ownership
Records, and Online person searches (even
Google and Facebook) all supply useful clues
to personalities and incidents which would be
of interest to you as a public records
researcher. See the end slides for details.
Index (cont)
Index information should be updated each
year and occasionally correlated with prior
years to see which officers have left the
departments you are studying.
Ex Officers can become sources of information
about how the department really works.
Index information should usually be published
to help other records researchers.
Records Information: This category includes
incident reports, patrol logs, shift schedules,
9-1-1 transcripts, and similar items. Its the
information recorded by police to describe
their contacts with the public. Its the most
common type of record requested from LE
Agencies and it will describe most incidents
you might study.
Records (cont)
Records are also nearly useless without some
context to the record which helps you decode
things like Lincoln Two Seven arrival 22:33.
Law Enforcement Agencies use a lot of
shorthand to describe what they do, so having
Index information with which you can decode
those shorthand notes is essential.
Records (cont)
In general, you never want to publish the actual
incident reports of an LE Agency due to their
tendency to falsely portray the personalities involved,
and their tendency to name individuals in ways which
specifically identify them and accuse them of crimes.
When you write a story based on a police incident
report, you always want to run that report past the
witnesses or named persons in the report first, if you
can contact them, to balance what the officers mistook
or distorted when they wrote their report.
Communications Information: This category
encompasses memoranda, emails, radio logs,
phone bills, and the routing information for
evidence and seized items taken by LE
Agencies. In general, it is information ABOUT
what other reports or records might exist, and
it helps describe these records by date and
time information which is essential for
obtaining the specific incident reports you
might need to read.
Communications (cont)
Communications information alone might give
you your answer, if all you want to know is
whether your local police are coordinating
with the Feds to control your protests. But to
see the patterns in the communications
information, you need to have Index
information to use in analyzing who
communicated with whom. To show harms,
you will need the arrest Records.

The email which caught Towery
Isnt much, is it?
By itself this email does not reveal his role.
The secret was running the name through
voter records, and correlating the information.

His voter address was near someone we knew.
His name was similar to that same person.
We already suspected a military spy.
Once we had this, other data fit the picture.
Use Correlation
Correlate the names in your emails with other

Police Rosters
Voter Registrations
Property Ownership
Court Cases
Facebook / LinkedIn
Thousands more possible collect them
Clues are in the details.
How many can you spot?
Some emails explain themselves almost.
Learn the Lingo
Strat = Strategic / Strategy
Grant = Monies from outside agency
OT = Overtime
Demo = Demonstrations
DT = Domestic Terrorism
SDS = Students for a Democratic Society

Diagram Email Series
Diagramming Emails
Inspiration Software
Flow diagrams for who sent what to whom, when
Shows flow of intelligence from sources, to police
recipients who then do bad things to activists
Demonstrates causality of torts / lawsuit targets

Timeline Emails
Simpler than Diagramming / No special
Lay out each email (or just the header /
subject) in date / time order.
Can be used to correlate multiple sources
from different departments.

Timeline Example
June 18 2009 - Tim Smith sends Tacoma Police Homeland Security Meeting Minutes (public records act request) to
Cryptome.org http://cryptome.org/tacoma-homesec.zip

June 20 2009 Drew Hendricks finally gets a copy of Brendan Dunns RQ from the City of Olympia. These are
emails and memoranda regarding SDS, Anarchists in Olympia. It is this collection of documents which unravels
the mystery of how the US Military was spying on Olympia.

June 21 24 2009 Preliminary catalog made of participants in City of Olympia emails revealed by Brendan
Dunns RQ. It is this activity which results in the ID of John Towery, and Cathie Butler.

June 23 2009 Drew Hendricks comes to the realization that the person named John J Towery in the emails he is
analyzing is the same person as John Jacob (Agent_Orange@riseup) and begins to deal with that reality. John
Towery is taken off of listserv admin status on OlyPMR list and set to no delivery while a small team of about 10
persons helps to photograph Towerys cars, house, motorcycle, and person.

July 20 2009 A team of persons in Olympia execute a sting of John Jacob Towery to get facial pictures and
photograph him with his motorcycle (lic # 947530). The Sting works. This is our second confirmation that John
Jacob is really John Jacob Towery.

July 21 2009 - Drew Hendricks announces at a City of Olympia Council meeting the identity of John Towery as an
agent of the Joint Base Lewis McChord DES / FP Cell. Early the next morning he posts it on Seattle IMC and other
local web based news sources.
Correlate emails with observations
When you watch a protest, photograph the
cops there.
Photograph the apparent undercover cars.
Photograph the Photographers all of them.
Keep these photos for later use.
You will correlate these photos with emails

Correlate the Observations
Audio Records
The voices heard are being recorded by an
automated system and were later released to
Olympia Copwatch, which in turn informed the
victim directly. The WSP at that time was still
trying to prosecute the victim, Philip Chinn, for
DUI - despite his blood test coming back negative
for intoxicants of any kind. In the audio clip his
car is referred to by its plate number: "One Four
Six, Robert Queen Nora". Mr Chinn is not named.
Video Records
Video from the Washington State Patrol,
obtained through a public records request.
The camera and a microwave link to send its
video through Washington State's Emergency
Management Division was purchased in 2005 -
2006 by the US Navy, through a Homeland
Security Emergency Grant program.
Direct Observations
Photograph the Photographers
Dwight L Combs - WSP Photographer April 23
He took photos of Craig Rosebraugh in April 2004.
Then in June 2006, we photographed him at GA
headquarters in Olympia, in full WSP dress blues.
He attended the 2005 "Domestic Terrorism"
conference in Spokane WA and retired from the
WSP after 2007.

Private Spies
Bank of America has a Social Media Trolling
team of 20 people and thats all they do all
B of A alerts State Police to stare at planned
protests against them.
Satisfaction is not guaranteed
What do you get if you prove spying?
Probably just money, and headlines.
Policy is harder to change.
Police Self Insurance insulates them from their
bad behaviors consequences.

It is important to lay the foundation of the
work activists will do after you.
Keep privacy in mind, but tilt that toward
activists and against police officers.
The presumption is for publication if the
subject is a public employee and the fact is
related to their conduct as a public employee.

Many indexes and communication record sets
are perfectly appropriate to share online,
Never publish anything unless you have read
ALL OF IT first.
Most of these are WA State specific

References Continued