UPDATE: On August 13, 2020, Mecklenburg Superior Court Judge Casey Viser made a preliminary decision not to compel the immediate release of public records. We will continue to fight to ensure these records are eventually made public. Tap or click here for our statement regarding the preliminary decision.
The ACLU of North Carolina filed suit against the City of Charlotte after city officials refused to turn over public records about law enforcement equipment and contracts related to the Republican National Convention in August. The lawsuit was filed eight months after the ACLU of North Carolina filed a public records request seeking information about federal grants, surveillance equipment, and agreements with law enforcement agencies surrounding the RNC.
While the nomination ceremonies for president and vice president will likely occur elsewhere, Charlotte still expects to host at least one day of official RNC business. The lawsuit noted that even after the RNC, Charlotte will continue to have access to the law enforcement, surveillance, and crowd control equipment obtained for the event, including “less than lethal” weapons.
Previous court rulings have affirmed that the North Carolina Public Records Act “strongly favors the release of public records to increase transparency in government.” Asserting City Officials have violated the Public Records Act, ACLU of North Carolina's lawsuit is asking the court to order Charlotte officials to provide the documents responsive to its request.