In case of asthmatic inhaler perhaps walked too slowly to inmate
    OOR asks senior lawyers to decide
    Fay's denial to view RTK prison
    surveillance video
    ____________________________


    RAVES that the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records has called in its senior legal minds to decide
    Rants&Raves' appeal of Fayette County's denial to allow the viewing of prison surveillance video of an
    inmate in medical distress, bleeding from the mouth, while his asthma inhaler, reportedly, was too slowly
    walked to him.

    Inmate Michael Brown bled from the mouth during an asthma attack he experienced after another inmate
    was subdued with pepper spray that spread in the air into the asthmatic's nearby cell.

    A Right to Know request was made two days later to view the prison surveillance video, upon request
    from inmate advocacy concerned about the reported delay and taunting involved when the inhaler finally
    was given to Brown and concerned that no inmates were questioned in the aftermath. Email was sent to
    county prison board members assuring them that a signed inmate release waiving his privacy to allow the
    viewing was in the outgoing prison mailbag.  



    In a RTK denial statement dated July 20, 2018, Rants&Raves was told that prison management staff
    viewed surveillance video in which pepper spray had been released in the environment.  

    "The review of the video surveillance confirmed that prison Corrections staff handled all events related to
    this incident appropriately and professionally," Head Clerk and RTK officer Amy Revak wrote.

    Hogwash, whispered a few inmates and staff to Rants&Raves, at the time insisting that the asthmatic's
    inhaler was too slowly walked to him. Thus, the appeal to the OOR was made to continue to request to
    view the surveillance video.




    Since a recent court case ruling allowed the viewing of video, possibly comparable in the OOR's opinion
    to Rants&Raves' requested county prison video, the OOR noted in its recent correspondence that the
    matter is referred for consult with its senior legal advisors.

    As per the referenced court case ruling that allowed the viewing since only one camera was used in sight
    of those being recorded, and after receiving an attestation this week from Fayette County Prison Warden
    Jeff Myers that those conditions similarly describe the area that Rants&Raves requested to view, OOR
    said it will render a final determination on October 9.



    That all said, no matter the OOR decision, RANTS that the prison surveillance video in question likely
    was not saved and was deleted, even though all prison board members were made aware of the RTK
    request and the county was informed that an appeal to the OOR was filed during that 15-20 day window
    the county had to save the video before it automatically deleted from the surveillance recording system.



    Yet, Raves of hope that the OOR ruling comes on October 9 that the surveillance video from the county
    prison should be allowed to be viewed and that the video was saved for possible OOR ruling that it be
    available for viewing at this time.

    More importantly, an OOR ruling in this matter now could only help get video viewed sooner without
    protest in the future, should word come in again that another disabled inmate was hosed with cold water
    after screaming for hours, glass was put into meals of men in protective custody for crimes against
    children or well behaved inmates with key medical issues are not removed from an area before pepper
    spray is used to subdue and remove a different inmate, who specifically in this case, could have waited a
    few more minutes to go to isolation .

    jt
    28 Sept 18
    Copyright Protected

Emails...


RTK response
Amy Revak <arevak@fayettepa.org>
Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 2:15 PM
To: Julie Toye <julietoye@gmail.com>, "J.D. Toye" <julie@julietoye.com>

Ms. Toye,

On July 16, 2018, you submitted the attached Request to Know (RTK) request asking to view prison surveillance video from July 13, 2018,
from 10:00 a.m. through 12:00 noon.  You more specifically narrowed your request by identifying an incident on an inmate range were an
inmate was reportedly in distress because of pepper spray having been released nearby.  You further state that you were told that the inmate
in question was taunted by a Corrections Officer who delayed getting him an inhaler.  

Prison management staff viewed surveillance video of an incident occurring on July 13, 2018, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon
in which pepper spray had been released in the environment.  The review of the video surveillance confirmed that prison Corrections staff
handled all events related to this incident appropriately and professionally.

Your request to view prison surveillance video from July 13, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. through 12:00 noon is denied for the following reasons:

It is the position of prison management that allowing a member of the general public to view surveillance footage of areas inside our
correctional facility would threaten public safety and Fayette County Prison's protection activities in maintaining a safe and secure facility.  The
viewing of such video by a member of the general public could facilitate inmates and others to be provided with information that could be used
to undermine Fayette County Prison's security procedures by allowing individuals to ascertain the scope of the surveillance camera's capability
or how much the camera is able to view.  It would also allow a viewer of the general public to ascertain any blind spots.  An inmate or inmates
being made aware of blind spots on a housing unit could be induced to act on the opportunity to physically harm another inmate or inmates or
corrections staff in those blind spots knowing they would not be filmed.  This information could also be used to facilitate security breaches
and/or the transfer of contraband.  More specifically, your RTK request is denied because the record is exempt from disclosure under Section
708(b) subparagraphs (1)(ii); (2); (3)(ii) and (3)(iii) as delineated below.
Section 708(b)(1)(ii):  A record the disclosure of which would be reasonably likely to result in a substantial and demonstrable risk of physical
harm to or the personal security of an individual.
Section 708(2):  A record maintained by an agency in connection with the military, homeland security, national defense, law enforcement or
other public safety activity that if disclosed would be reasonably likely to jeopardize or threaten public safety or preparedness or public
protection activity or a record that is designated classified by an appropriate Federal or State military authority.
Section 708(3)(ii):  A record, the disclosure of which creates a reasonable likelihood of endangering the safety or the physical security of a
building, public utility, resource, infrastructure, facility or information storage system, which may include: lists of infrastructure, resources and
significant special events, including those defined by the Federal Government in the National Infrastructure Protections, which are deemed
critical due to their nature and which result from risk analysis; threat assessments; consequences assessments; antiterrorism protective
measures and plans; counterterrorism measures and plans; and security and response needs assessments.
Section 708(3)(iii):  A record, the disclosure of which creates a reasonable likelihood of endangering the safety or the physical security of a
building, public utility, resource, infrastructure, facility or information storage system, which may include:  building plans or infrastructure
records that expose or create vulnerability through disclosure of the location, configuration or security of critical systems, including public utility
systems, structural elements, technology, communication, electrical, fire suppression, ventilation, water, wastewater, sewage and gas systems.

It is also the position of prison management that inmates incarcerated in its facility by the courts are entitled to privacy subject to our inherent
duty to provide for their care, custody, and control.  We believe that allowing a member of the general public to view surveillance video that
captures inmates at large living in their assigned housing unit constitutes an unnecessary breach of their privacy.  More specifically, your RTK
request is also denied because the record is exempt from disclosure under Section 708(17)(vi)(C) which states:  "A record that if disclosed,
would do any of the following… including constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy."

Finally, it is the position of prison management staff that it will neither be confirmed nor denied whether a specific inmate was administered an
inhaler on July 13, 2018, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. through 12:00 noon or at any other times.  Such an event would involve the
administration of a medical treatment to an inmate which is strictly confidential and prohibited from public disclosure.  More specifically, your
RTK request is further denied because the record is exempt from disclosure under Section 708(b)(5) which states:  "A record of an individual’s
medical, psychiatric or psychological history or disability status, including an evaluation, consultation, prescription, diagnosis or treatment;
results of tests, including drug tests; enrollment in a health care program or program designed for participation by persons with disabilities,
including vocation rehabilitation, workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation; or related information that would disclose
individually identifiable health information."

You have a right to appeal this denial of information in writing to Erik Arneson, Executive Director, Office of Open Records, Commonwealth
Keystone Building, 400 North Street, 4th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17120.

If you choose to file an appeal you must do so within 15 business days of the mailing date of the agency’s response.  See 65 P.S. § 67.1101.  
Please note that a copy of your original Right-to-Know request and this denial letter must be included when filing an appeal. The law also
requires that you state the reasons why the record is a public record and address each of the reasons the Agency denies your request. Visit
the Office of Open Records website at http://www.openrecords.pa.gov for further information on filing an appeal. If you have further questions,
please call Amy Revak at 724-430-1200, extension 1504.  Please be advised that this correspondence will serve to close this record with our
office as permitted by law.
Amy Revak
Chief Clerk of Fayette County
724-430-1200 extension 1504

______________________________________________
FW: Docket #AP 2018-1414: Julie Toye, Requester v. Fayette County, Respondent
Amy Revak <arevak@fayettepa.org>
Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 3:48 PM
To: "Davis, Jordan" <jorddavis@pa.gov>, Julie Toye <julietoye@gmail.com>, "J.D. Toye" <julie@julietoye.com>
Subject: Docket #AP 2018-1414: Julie Toye, Requester v. Fayette County, Respondent

Good afternoon,

This email is in response to the Requester's appeal of Fayette County's denial of her Right to Know (RTK) request dated July 16, 2018.  There
is no information brought forth in the Requester's appeal that suggests a need for clarification in regard to the reasons previously given for
denial of the requested information as they pertain to the corresponding RTK exceptions as cited in our July 20, 2018, response.

Fayette County does, however, obstinately object to the Requestor's submission on appeal of a document (copy attached) that was neither
incorporated into nor submitted as part of her original July 16, 2018, RTK request.  Specifically, on appeal, the

Requester submitted a "Video Surveillance Release Authorization" signed by an inmate incarcerated at the Fayette County Prison.  This
"authorization" is dated July 18, 2018, two days subsequent to the submission of her original RTK request to Fayette County.  
For the record, an inmate who is or was incarcerated at the Fayette County Prison, a facility operated under the jurisdiction of the respondent,
has no standing whatsoever to authorize the release of the facility's video surveillance.  The after-the-fact "Video Surveillance Release
Authorization" is, therefore, irrelevant to the RTK request.
Fayette County anticipates and appreciates your incorporation of this information into the subject docket.

Amy Revak
Chief Clerk of Fayette County
724-430-1200 extension 1504
______________________________________________
Julie Toye <julietoye@gmail.com>
Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 4:20 PM
To: Amy Revak <arevak@fayettepa.org>, jorddavis@pa.gov

Apologies but forgot to include this email sent on July 16 to the prison board, saying that I could provide written permission from the inmate.  I
had already received his verbal permission in the event that the county cited his privacy as a reason to deny. However, due to his
circumstances, he wasn't able to sign before the 18th and was dependent on the prison mail system to get the release mailed.

    Subject:
    RTK
    From:
    J.D. Toye (julie@julietoye.com)
    To: dlohr@fayettepa.org; vvicites@fayettepa.org; zimmerlink@fayettepa.org; sheriffcuster@fayettepa.org; rbower@fayettepa.org;
    kkuhn@faycopa.org; sabraham@fayettepa.org;
    Date: Monday, July 16, 2018 3:27 PM

    Good afternoon, prison board members,

    Three days ago, sources inside your prison said that inmate Michael Brown (not the same M. Brown whose meal had chards of
    glass) laid on the floor coughing blood while inmate M. Spedden was pepper sprayed and removed to the basement and a guard
    named Lou reportedly taunted Brown on the floor before finally getting him an inhaler.
    The last time I asked to view prison surveillance video, the county's RTK answer was that video is stored only about 21-24 days
    and deleted. There should be no problem then retrieving that video to fulfill the request filed today with Head Clerk Amy Revak.
    In the event that I am permitted in today's RTK request to see video from about 10 AM - 12 Noon from Friday, June 13, I extend an
    invitation to any interested prison board members to view it with me. If necessary, I will obtain written permission from Mr. Brown to
    allow the video to be shown of him on the floor, coughing up blood and being taunted by a guard.
    Respectfully,
    Julie Toye, editor
    Rants&Raves


Inmate signed release waiving his privacy
______________________________________________
Davis, Jordan <jorddavis@pa.gov>
Wed, Sep 12, 2018 at 11:50 AM
To: Amy Revak <arevak@fayettepa.org>, Julie Toye <julietoye@gmail.com>, "J.D. Toye" <julie@julietoye.com>

Dear Ms. Revak,

Thank you for your response to the above-captioned appeal.  I have reviewed the file, and I note that the County has raised several
exemptions- the OOR is required to base all findings of fact on competent evidence, generally established through affidavit testimony.  Could
the County provide me with an attestation addressing some or all of the argument that the record at issue is exempt under Sections 708(b)(1),
(2), (3) and (5)?

If the County would prefer to rest on the record as it exists, please let me know.

Sincerely,
Jordan Davis
Attorney
Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
333 Market St., 16th Floor
______________________________________________
FW: Docket #AP 2018-1414: Julie Toye, Requester v. Fayette County, Respondent

Amy Revak <arevak@fayettepa.org>
Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 2:22 PM
To: "Davis, Jordan" <jorddavis@pa.gov>, Julie Toye <julietoye@gmail.com>, "J.D. Toye" <julie@julietoye.com>

Good afternoon,

Attached is a signed attestation verifying the county’s stance on the previously sent Right to Know request appeal for 2018-1414.

Amy Revak
Chief Clerk of Fayette County
724-430-1200 extension 1504
Revak's attestation
______________________________________________

Request - Docket #AP 2018-1414: Julie Toye, Requester v. Fayette County, Respondent
2 messages
Davis, Jordan <jorddavis@pa.gov>
Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 11:06 AM
To: Amy Revak <arevak@fayettepa.org>, Julie Toye <julietoye@gmail.com>, "J.D. Toye" <julie@julietoye.com>

Dear Ms. Toye,

I write today to request a brief one-week extension for the issuance of the Final Determination in the above-captioned matter- I am currently
discussing certain questions regarding legal issues in this case with senior attorneys at the OOR, and may need to seek additional information
from the County.  

Thank you for your consideration,
Jordan Davis
Attorney
Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
333 Market St., 16th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-2234
(717) 346-9903  |  http://openrecords.pa.gov
jorddavis@pa.gov  |  @OpenRecordsPA
_Request - Docket #AP 2018-1414: Julie Toye, Requester v. Fayette County, Respondent
_______________________________________
Julie Toye <julietoye@gmail.com>
Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 11:26 AM
To: jorddavis@pa.gov

Thank you, Mr. Davis, for explaining.
In the meantime, I am forwarding this additional response to a RTK request made earlier this year for different prison video.


    Amy Revak <arevak@fayettepa.org>
    Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 4:29 PM
    To: Julie Toye <julietoye@gmail.com>
    Ms. Toye,

    Attached are the three RTK requests you submitted. Below are the answers to the three requests, answered in the order they are
    attached.
    1.       Video surveillance images captured on the Prison's closed circuit camera system (CCTV) recycles or loops over
    themselves approximately every 15 to 20 calendar days, thereby erasing and writing over footage previously captured.  Given
    that, any surveillance footage captured on May 8, 2018, on the B-Range inmate housing unit is no longer available for review.  A
    search on the CCTV system as part of the review of your Right to Know request confirmed that no video exists for the time period
    and housing location specified.  Accordingly, your request to view 50 minutes of B-Range inmate housing unit video from May 8,
    2018, is denied because no such video is available.    
    2.       There is no documentation available or any information obtained as a result of the review of your Right to Know request
    which indicates that any video was viewed for the day of May 8, 2018, for any reason involving inmates as named in your Right to
    Know request.  Therefore, the direct answer to the question which comprises your Right to Know request is no.

___________________________________________

Inquiry - Toye v. Fayette County (OOR Dkt. AP 2018-1414)
2 messages
Davis, Jordan <jorddavis@pa.gov>
Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 10:39 AM
To: Amy Revak <arevak@fayettepa.org>, Julie Toye <julietoye@gmail.com>

Dear Parties,

Thank you for your responses to my inquiries.    Unless there is an objection, I will set the date for issuance of this Final Determination to
Friday, October 12, 2018.
I have a final request for the County- in light of the Commonwealth Court’s recent decision and analysis of the RTKL’s safety exemptions
regarding public video in
Gregg Township v. Grove, 2018 Pa. Commw. Unpub. LEXIS 343, I would ask the County to provide a brief attestation
from someone with personal knowledge demonstrating:

    Are there multiple cameras covering the area that Ms. Toye sought footage from?
    Are the security cameras visible to the inmate population?

Thank you again for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Jordan Davis
Attorney
Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
333 Market St., 16th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-2234
(717) 346-9903  |  http://openrecords.pa.gov
jorddavis@pa.gov  |  @OpenRecordsPA

____________________________
Inquiry - Toye v. Fayette County (OOR Dkt. AP 2018-1414)
Amy Revak <arevak@fayettepa.org>
Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 4:21 PM
To: "Davis, Jordan" <jorddavis@pa.gov>, Julie Toye <julietoye@gmail.com>

Good afternoon,

Attached is the attestation you requested.

Amy Revak
Chief Clerk of Fayette County
724-430-1200 extension 1504

Jeffrey N. Myers Attestation (AP 2018-1414)_000134.pdf
__________________________________________________________________
    RTK appeal filed with OOR to view video
    Did Prison Board view this surveillance video,
    talk with inmates?

    Neither a RANT nor a RAVE, but a note that an appeal was filed today at Rants&Raves to the PA Office
    of Open Records, as the County of Fayette denied a Right To Know request to view county prison
    surveillance video of a specific cell area of an inmate bleeding from the mouth during an asthma attack.
    The inmate experienced medical distress following the use of pepper spray to subdue another inmate
    removed and taken by four guards to the basement.

    Written consent for the viewing of the video was obtained from the inmate in medical distress bleeding
    from the mouth from the asthma attack brought on by breathing all of the pepper spray in the air.

    On July 16, Rants&Raves filed the RTK to view the video. We asked prison board members to allow the
    viewing and come watch, too. They were informed that first day of the RTK, that the inmate would allow
    the viewing with a written release.

    In the County's formal denial to Rants&Raves to view the prison surveillance video -- received quickly by
    County standards, in just three business days later, too -- the Answer stated that prison management
    staff viewed surveillance video of an incident occurring on July 13, 2018, between the hours of 10:00 a.
    m. and 12:00 noon in which pepper spray had been released in the environment.  

    "The review of the video surveillance confirmed that prison Corrections staff handled all events related to
    this incident appropriately and professionally," as per the RTK Answer.



    Did prison management who watched the video talk to inmates or other staff about whether the guard
    made his way as quickly or slowly as possible to get the inmate bleeding from the mouth in an asthmatic
    crisis his medication inhaler?

    Did prison board members ask prison management to talk to inmates?

    Did prison board members talk to inmates directly to ask if they heard others raising their voices asking
    the guard to hurry with the inhaler medication?



    Perhaps this latest RTK should have included the disclaimer that Rants&Raves was not digging for
    details about the incident that prompted the pepper spraying of that other inmate and whether or not a
    guard who was ordered legally to stay away from him had violated that order out of stupidity or just for
    kicks. That particular inmate, we trust, knows how to effectively self advocate and does not need external
    advocacy.



    In denying the recent RTK, the County is correct in one area of thinking, given that in recent years
    lawyers have smuggled in drugs to their clients in booking areas.

    Contraband is a serious matter that nobody here at this column takes lightly.

    In a way, yes, it's almost laughable, given the number of times this editor once made emergency mental
    health assessments of inmates from right outside their cells. In this day and age, it's almost
    understandable to say it's OK to deny entrance even to someone at Rants&Raves, who represented the
    county for years in county mental health courts and had access to this county's youngest murderers for
    those prison assessments.


    These days, anyone can smuggle in or try to. Look at how many of the prison's own staff and contracted
    staff have carried in bags of pills and were caught!

    But they knew, had to deep down know, that this editor would've agreed to be put in a straight jacket with
    no access to use my arms or hands to watch that video.

    Given that nearly every person who has ever worked at or out of the prison, nearly every person ever
    incarcerated there and anyone who ever watched those scary prison propaganda videos all know the
    layout of the joint, the County's RTK Answer just took too goofy of a tangent saying that allowing a
    civilian in to view a video of the cell area constitutes a safety risk.


    Oh, please! The longer the RTK Answer went, the more difficult it was to keep separate the two different
    inmate incidents that day.

    The longer the long RTK Answer became, the more likely it seemed that the first incident of the inmate
    being pepper sprayed, reportedly, for asking that the guard ordered formally to avoid him comply, will
    probably be a bigger problem for county officials down the road than some inmate bleeding from the
    mouth who eventually got his medication inhaler before the pepper spray killed him.  (6 Aug 18)