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: January 24, 2007, 12:53:07 PM

Airport tape of Vick ditching bottle erased

By CHRIS VIVLAMORE, MEGAN CLARKE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 01/24/07
 
Miami-Dade police have erased the airport security video showing Falcons quarterback Michael Vick disposing of a water bottle at the airport after it was requested by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution under Florida's public records law.

The video, made on Jan. 17, was part of the investigation into the water bottle with a hidden compartment that an initial police report said contained "a small amount of a dark particulant and a pungent aroma closely associated with marijuana."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution requested a copy of the video on Jan. 18 from the Miami-Dade Police Department, under the state's public records law. Police spokesman Robert Williams confirmed that the department was the custodian of the video. When told that the AJC wanted a copy of the electronic video, Williams said police had already decided they would not release it because it was part of an open investigation.

The State Attorney's office announced Monday that no charges would be filed against Vick and the case was closed.

On Tuesday, the AJC again requested a copy of the video and was told that it had been erased: "The video that you are asking for was on a flash drive," Williams wrote in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon to the AJC. "That information was shown to the State Attorney's Office and it was determined by them that no criminal act was committed and no charges were filed. Therefore this video was deleted from the flash drive since it was not being used in a criminal case."

When asked when the video was deleted, Williams responded: "Why? It was deleted right after no contraband was found and the State refused to prosecute."

Adria Harper, the director of the First Amendment Foundation of Florida, a non-profit organization that provides legal aid and training on open records, said there shouldn't be barriers to accessing the tape.

"Even if they were allowed to destroy the records so quickly — which I would be surprised about — I wonder if they would do that if it was someone else, someone other than Michael Vick."

Florida has very broad access laws, she said.

Harper said the only exception to releasing information is an open criminal investigation, which does not apply in the Vick case.

The video was provided to the police by the Tranportation Security Administration, which still has a copy of the video but has refused to release it, citing national security concerns.





http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/falcons/stories/2007/01/24/0124vicktape.html


Things that make you go hmmmmmm!!!

keeponbucn

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#1 : January 24, 2007, 12:55:54 PM

i saw that on PFT, not sure why it had to be destroyed. Something smells funny and it isn't Vick's water bottle.

bucfn126

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#2 : January 24, 2007, 01:23:40 PM

Is there any question he was holding? He got a free ride because of who he is. Any other shmoe would have been slamned. It makes me sick!

leeroybuc93

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#3 : January 24, 2007, 01:54:51 PM

What are you guys talking about?  If you had a video that was determined to show you comitting no crime, would you want it passed out to the media? 

Scholty

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#4 : January 24, 2007, 02:57:53 PM

LeeroyBuc,

That's not the problem here.  It's accountability to the public.  The whole thing MORE then smells...

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marlevr

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#5 : January 24, 2007, 03:08:20 PM

This is ridiculous!!  [banghead]

If it was any other person, he'll be in jail.

SamoaJoeBucFan

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#6 : January 24, 2007, 03:24:15 PM

I wonder how much he paid them to erase the tape.  Or did they just let him off because of who he is?

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#7 : January 24, 2007, 05:12:59 PM

Believe me, as soon as the water bottle leaves his hands and goes into the recycle bin the case is unproveable. Once the lab test comes back negative, any on-scene residue tests become irrelevant. Sure we know the deal, but any guy off the street w/ $500 lawyer would beat this charge.

leeroybuc93

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#8 : January 24, 2007, 05:22:48 PM

LeeroyBuc,

That's not the problem here. It's accountability to the public. The whole thing MORE then smells...

If no crime was commited, the only accountability to the public is to say there was no crime.  If the tests came back negative they can prove no crime.  If they release a video where Vick officially did nothing wrong, and that video ends up all over ESPN and the internet like we all know it would, you might as well evacuate the city of Miami because there will be no police department left after Vick sues them.

Lets say you get arrested for a DUI and the cops release your video to the show "Cops" even if they never charged you.  You're going to sue the hell out of them.  The police's job is not to entertain America.  It is to look out or the best interest of the public.  If Vick did nothing wrong "officially," then the only "public" the police department owes anything to is Vick.

I know you guys hate the dude, but get a grip!

bradentonian

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#9 : January 24, 2007, 05:31:11 PM

LeeroyBuc,

That's not the problem here. It's accountability to the public. The whole thing MORE then smells...

If no crime was commited, the only accountability to the public is to say there was no crime.  If the tests came back negative they can prove no crime.  If they release a video where Vick officially did nothing wrong, and that video ends up all over ESPN and the internet like we all know it would, you might as well evacuate the city of Miami because there will be no police department left after Vick sues them.

Lets say you get arrested for a DUI and the cops release your video to the show "Cops" even if they never charged you.  You're going to sue the hell out of them.  The police's job is not to entertain America.  It is to look out or the best interest of the public.  If Vick did nothing wrong "officially," then the only "public" the police department owes anything to is Vick.

I know you guys hate the dude, but get a grip!

If the video showed no wrongdoing, why wouldn't Vick want people to see it to clear his name to the public?


keeponbucn

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#10 : January 24, 2007, 05:39:47 PM

If the video showed no wrongdoing, why wouldn't Vick want people to see it to clear his name to the public?


more importantly, if there wasn't a crime why did the FO have an "intense" conversation with VIck then go to the media and apologize for his actions? Strange.

MiltonMack21

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#11 : January 24, 2007, 06:06:28 PM

If the video showed no wrongdoing, why wouldn't Vick want people to see it to clear his name to the public?


more importantly, if there wasn't a crime why did the FO have an "intense" conversation with VIck then go to the media and apologize for his actions? Strange.
Thats the part that stinks about this.


Itchalot

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#12 : January 24, 2007, 06:40:46 PM

I'm sure AJC had the right to the tape, and I'm no Vick fan.  He had a  bottle designed to carry marijuana and it smelled like marijuana and it had marijuana like residue.  No he can't be prosecuted but the court of public opinion is another story.  If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck.....

But having said that I see no reason that video should be out in the public. Thats not investigative journalism. Its just people wanting to send around a funny video on the internet that cuts a public figure down to size.    There is nothing noble or newsworthy about trying to get that video made public. 


Tampa Bay Todd

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#13 : January 24, 2007, 06:43:19 PM

Colin Cowherd had an interesting take on this during his show today. Turns out the Atlanta paper filed freedom of information papers to get a copy of the video. They then were told it had been erased after the prosecutor's office decided not to press charges. Seems like they couldn't wait to do that after getting official word. Plus, he made a good point about lab tests taking weeks sometimes months, but then the decision was made to not file charges and thus the case goes away within two days.
He also said the only time he's ever been told not to talk about something on his ESPN show was when the whole Ron Mexico thing broke out (so to speak). And he hinted that it wasn't his bosses idea to not discuss it either, maybe came from someone higher up -- possibly an NFL source.
Got to protect the bread and butter it looks like.


DanTurksGhost

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#14 : January 24, 2007, 07:37:12 PM

If it was any other person, he'll be in jail.

Well, Warren Sapp would probably get away with possession, at least if he has a friend with him to claim that all the marijuana in Warren's water bottle was his and not Sapp's.
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