Atty on Trump protest records request: PD not allowed to 'get their version out first'

Posted: Updated:
A local attorney explains why he thinks the Phoenix Police Department needs to give over public records regarding the Trump protest. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A local attorney explains why he thinks the Phoenix Police Department needs to give over public records regarding the Trump protest. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Dan Barr with the First Amendment Coalition says the full videos collected by investigators should have been released in a roll-out as investigators finished reviewing each one. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dan Barr with the First Amendment Coalition says the full videos collected by investigators should have been released in a roll-out as investigators finished reviewing each one. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Phoenix police maintain records are still being reviewed but released an edited video days after the riot as they explained protestors were throwing rocks and bricks at officers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Phoenix police maintain records are still being reviewed but released an edited video days after the riot as they explained protestors were throwing rocks and bricks at officers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Barr says the police department cannot get by on releasing its own findings on the incident without also releasing the full records. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Barr says the police department cannot get by on releasing its own findings on the incident without also releasing the full records. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Valley First Amendment attorney says the Phoenix Police Department should be able to release all videos from the night Donald Trump held a rally downtown. 

Phoenix police have come under fire for its response on Aug. 22, 2017, when officers began using tear gas and pepper balls to disperse crowds outside the Phoenix Convention Center.

[SLIDESHOW: Police deploy tear gas at Trump protesters]

[READ MORE: 4 arrested, 2 officers suffer heat exhaustion after protest turns unruly outside Trump rally]

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona announced a lawsuit Tuesday calling for records it requested through two different public records requests regarding the Trump visit and outside protests. 

[READ MORE: ACLU suing Phoenix PD over Trump protest records]

The Phoenix police maintain records are still being reviewed but released an edited video days after the riot as they explained protestors were throwing rocks and bricks at officers.

[RELATED: Phoenix PD does play-by-play of video of unruly anti-Trump protest]

Dan Barr with the First Amendment Coalition says the full videos collected by investigators should have been released in a roll-out as investigators finished reviewing each one.

“Information you have already reviewed, you can give that to us now,” says Barr. “And information and documents you might still be working on, you can do that.”

The Phoenix Police Department released this statement Tuesday in response to the ACLU lawsuit:

The Phoenix Police Department’s Professional Standards Bureau is continuing to review and process an immense amount of records related to events surrounding President Trump’s visit in August.  It has always been our intention to release the review and associated records as quickly as possible.  We anticipate the review will be completed within the coming weeks.  Unfortunately, we are not able to provide specific comments on pending lawsuits.”

Barr says the police department cannot get by on releasing its own findings on the incident without also releasing the full records.

"The public records law doesn’t allow them to get their version out first before releasing the original documents,” says Barr.

Barr says police now has 20 days to respond to the suit and a hearing may be set for January or February. Barr says a judge will review the records and determine if the Phoenix Police Department have a valid reason for withholding some records, what records should be released through the public records request and when they should be released.

The Phoenix Police Department says it hopes to release its own review by the end of the year.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.