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Alameda Police Department Denies Public Records Request for Augusta Collins Death Collision Report

The Alameda Police Department has refused a public records request for the collision report in the death of Augusta Collins. (Google Street View)

The Alameda Police Department has refused a public records request for the collision report in the death of Augusta Collins. (Google Street View)

On March 1st, a representative from the Alameda County District Attorney’s office confirmed that no charges will be filed against the driver whose truck collided with and killed Augusta Collins last September.

In mid-December, the Alameda Police Department referred the case to the District Attorney’s office.

On March 1st, a representative with the District Attorney’s office told Action Alameda News, “We did review that case and we declined to file charges based on insufficient evidence and in the interest of justice.”

Readers have been asking about the outcome of the case.

With the case apparently closed, Action Alameda News made a public records request to the Alameda Police Department, requesting the collision report.

Today, the police department wrote to refuse the request, writing, “Law enforcement investigative files are not subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act. (CPRA) (Gov. Code, § 6250 et seq.) Gov. Code, § 6254, subd. (f) exempts ‘[r]ecords of . . . investigations conducted by, or records of intelligence information or security procedures of . . . any state or local police agency, or any such investigatory or security files compiled by any other state or local police agency . . . for correctional, law enforcement or licensing purposes . . . .’ from disclosure under the CPRA. (See, also Williams v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal. 4th 337.) Once an investigation has begun, all materials that relate to the investigation and are thus properly included in the file remain exempt from disclosure indefinitely. (Id. at pp. 355, 361-362.)

“Accident reports are also deemed confidential except that law enforcement agencies may provide copies or information contained therein to ‘the driver or drivers involved, or the guardian or conservator thereof, the parent of a minor driver, the authorized representative of a driver, or to any named person injured therein, the owners of vehicles or property damaged thereby, persons who may incur civil liability, including liability based upon a breach of warranty arising out of the accident, and any attorney who declares under penalty of perjury that he or she represents any of the above persons.’ See, California Vehicle Code 20012.

“It is our understanding that you do not qualify as a recipient designated in the statute. If you believe that is incorrect, please provide us with a detailed explanation.”

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