The following can be attributed to Scott Michelman, Legal Director of the ACLU of the District of Columbia:

“The Metropolitan Police Department’s decision to effectively ‘blacklist’ FOIA requesters who have been critical of the Department and single out requests from these individuals for delay or denial runs contrary to the principles of the Freedom of Information Act and the First Amendment. A basic principle of our democracy is that the government should not treat people worse because of their viewpoints—especially for viewpoints that are critical of the government itself. MPD’s unlawful practice undermines public trust and makes it harder for the D.C. Council, elected officials, and the public to learn about MPD's action and, if necessary, to hold them accountable.

“MPD’s blacklist practice is part of a broader pattern of resistance to transparency and public accountability. The ACLU of the District of Columbia has sued MPD on numerous occasions for failure to comply with FOIA requests and for the three-year delay to begin collecting data on police stops as mandated by the NEAR Act. The MPD’s stubborn resistance to basic transparency laws strongly implies they know they have something to hide. We call on Chief Contee to put an immediate stop to differential treatment of FOIA requests based on the requester’s viewpoint and to end MPD’s culture of secrecy and obstruction of public oversight.”