Following the violence that occurred at Tiki Leee’s Dock Bar in June, the complete lack of information provided to the public led The Baltimore Post to file a Public Information Act request for 911 audio that could help to shed light on this disturbing incident.
Under Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) law, Baltimore County had 10 days following the request to respond with a legal reason for any refusal or redactions to the requested information. After that 10-day period, the county had an additional 20 days to provide the information, or at least a response.
Sorry to say, folks, but our request was completely ignored.
After the full 30-day period came and went with the sound of crickets chirping, the Post sent the county an email inquiring why there was no response to our formal request for information. We received the following reply
Good afternoon, Buzz,
We are and have been committed to transparency. I think you know your relationship with us is much better than the past. If this fell through the cracks, it was unintentional, but the response at the time was that this was an open investigation and the tapes were not going to be released. With that being said, I have checked back in to see if that status has changed.
By definition, the county is now considered to be in violation of MPIA law.
This is not the first time Baltimore County has attempted to hide the truth from the public regarding criminal activity. In another matter involving the death of a beloved community leader after a home burglary, the Post made numerous attempts to get information.
Sadly, the response is the same every time: “We’ll get back to you” or “We have to check on the status of the case.”
The problem is we never get any updates to questions that concern the public safety of the citizens of Baltimore County.
Regarding the request for the 911 audio of the Tiki Lee’s Dock Bar violence, please review the East Side Town Hall Meeting with Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski as he introduces new Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt:
In order to gain a proper perspective regarding the violence at Tiki Lee’s, Mr. Olszewski addresses part of the issue in his opening remarks. You can also skip ahead to the 58-minute mark in the video and listen to the citizens’ viewpoint of these incidents. What you will hear is far different from the spin and propaganda that Johnny O has been spewing.
The Baltimore Post has filed a request with the Maryland State Ombudsman in order to resolve the denial of our MPIA request.
Johnny O pledged more transparency involving all matters of county government, but the Post strongly believes that responding to an MPIA request without the information that would help to reveal the truth does not meet the definition of a true and open government.