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Tue Jan 12, 2016, 02:11 AM


Chicago police must finally produce stingray records, judge orders [View all]


Chicago police must finally produce stingray records, judge orders

by Cyrus Farivar - Jan 11, 2016 6:10pm EST

Court knocks police for relying on generic FBI affidavit as argument for withholding.

A local activist has won an important intermediary step in his legal quest to force the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to produce documents that fully explain the department's use of cell-site simulators, also known as IMSI catchers.

In a Monday opinion in Martinez v. Chicago Police Department, Cook County Circuit Judge Kathleen Kennedy denied the city’s motion to dismiss. This decision paves the way later this month for a closed-door hearing (in camera review) where the judge gets to privately review the documents in question.

Back in September 2014, activist Freddy Martinez filed a request under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. Among other items, Martinez initially asked for:

All court orders for any instances in which Chicago Police deployed IMSI Catchers

All formal or informal policies, procedures, orders, directives, or other such records that pertain to when, why, where, how, and by whom IMSI Catchers may be deployed

All records discussing the constitutionality of deploying IMSI Catchers

That request was originally denied by the CPD. By the end of that month, Martinez sued—his second records-related lawsuit against the CPD of 2014. As of nearly a year ago, the city owed over $120,000 to defend the cases. Martinez and his legal team still don’t know exactly how many documents will now be released.

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