TS City won't hand over 911 tapes 04/26/2006
EUREKA -- The city attorney declined the Times-Standard's request for the 911 tapes related to the April 14 shooting death of Cheri Moore in a letter received Tuesday.
”The events leading up to and following the death of Cheri Moore are the subject of an ongoing law enforcement investigation,” City Attorney David Tranberg wrote. “It is the desire of the Eureka Police Department to foster a timely and proper resolution to that investigation. The police department therefore concludes at this time, pursuant to Government Code Section 6254(f), that the records you request are exempt from disclosure.”
The section refers to “records of complaints to, or investigations conducted by, or records of intelligence information or security procedures of, the office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, and any state or local police agency, or any investigatory or security files compiled by any other state or local police agency, or any investigatory or security files compiled by any other state or local agency for correctional, law enforcement, or licensing purposes.”
Moore was shot after a two-and-a-half hour standoff with police in her G Street apartment. Friends reported she
was off her medication and distraught over the anniversary of her late son's death. Moore brandished a flare gun at times and threw objects out of her downtown apartment window.
Few details on her death have been released beside what the police department sent out in the first days after the incident. Since then, the official flow of information has basically come to a standstill.
A release soon after the incident said Moore had made threats to set fire to the building and to shoot people outside.
”A decision was made to have the SWAT team enter the apartment if police observers, positioned across the street, believed the female had put the weapon down and they knew her location,” it states. “When this occurred, the SWAT team entered. Upon the SWAT team's entry, the suspect was in possession of a weapon. The suspect was shot.”
The Times-Standard made the 911 tape request last week to gain a better perspective on how the events unfolded.
”The police department asserts that the public interest that would be served by disclosing the records you request is outweighed by the public interest served by not disclosing the records,” Tranberg said in the city's denial of the request. “It can be reasonably presumed, from what has appeared in the media, that the decedent's private medical information would be compromised by disclosure of the records you seek.”
The newspaper is considering its options.
District Attorney Paul Gallegos said a multi-agency investigation into the shooting is continuing. When completed, his office will evaluate the information to “determine whether it was a justified shooting,” he said.
When that might occur is difficult to determine, Gallegos said.
Kimberly Wear and Chris Durant The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 04/26/2006 04:24:00 AM PDT