CHARLOTTE – The ACLU of North Carolina filed suit against the City of Charlotte today 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 comes 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.
“The people of North Carolina have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent and what militarized equipment Charlotte officials have stockpiled for the RNC, but for eight months they’ve stonewalled our requests for information,” said Daniel Siegel, staff attorney of the ACLU of North Carolina. “The inexcusable violence and chemical attacks deployed against peaceful demonstrators earlier this month must never be repeated, and these public records are important to determining what militarized weapons and equipment Charlotte has obtained in preparation for the RNC. Even while RNC activities in Charlotte have been scaled back, the equipment gathered in preparation may still be used against residents. City officials have a legal obligation to provide this public information.”
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. Previous court rulings have affirmed that the North Carolina Public Records Act “strongly favors the release of public records to increase transparency in government.”
A copy of the complaint filed today is available https://www.acluofnorthcarolina.org/sites/default/files/6.24.2020_aclu_v...