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4/19/2012 5:00:00 PM
City officials refuse to make full shooter training video public

Marty Bachman


BLYTHE - Blythe City officials have refused to make public all but six seconds of a video shot during the Active Shooter training seminar held at Blythe City Hall for city employees earlier this year.

The six second video clip released shows a gunman entering the room and shooting Police Lt. Brian Gray who falls to the floor. The gunman then points the gun at the audience as another gunman follows behind and some city employees scramble to get out of the way. The unidentified gunmen were Blythe police officers. The program, presented by the Blythe Police Department, has come under scrutiny after complaints of injuries were filed with the Palo Verde Unified School District where the department held several seminars.

City officials brought in attorney Greg Palmer to respond to a March 22 Public Records Act request asking for the full video shot by City Manager Dave Lane, who had shown the six second cut at the city's Outlook Conference last March.

Palmer wrote that Lane used his privately owned video camcorder to shoot the video and insisted it was not a public record.

"To the extent a clip of this video was played at the conference, only that portion which was played is a public record, the remainder of the video is privately owned by Mr. Lane and does not constitute a record owned by a public entity," Palmer wrote. "Therefore only the clip played at the conference will be made available to you."

Jim Ewert, legal counsel for the California Newspaper Publisher's Association, disagreed with Palmer's assessment and said that Lane attended the training and shot the video while working as city manager.

"He was there at the event, the training exercise, not as a private citizen, but in his capacity as city manager," Ewert said. "That's how he came to know the exercise would occur and there's no other reason for him to be there. The fact that he used his own camera to capture the exercise is irrelevant for disclosing this public record and a public record is defined as anything used by an agency in the course of its business, which this clearly falls into. If you take his argument to its logical extent, any information the city doesn't want the public to see, all they have to do is put it in a file cabinet in some city employee's home."

"Go ahead and sue us," Palmer said, in response to the contrary opinion.



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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2012
Article comment by: Friend of Blythe

I could be wrong, but havn't we heard David Lane and Chief Steve Smith say that they want to show they are running a city and police department that are transparent so that they can show they are not hiding anything from the citizens of this city. I know Smith has said it many times for sure, This does not the actions of men who want to be transparebt. It is the opposite. what is there to hide. If there is nothing to the tape then turn over the whole thing. The Dave and Steve show is a bigger joke than I thought if they think the citizens of Blythe believe their story,

Posted: Friday, April 20, 2012
Article comment by: Al Pacino

I was there it was NOT a big deal and they shot the blanks in to the air. PVUSD not city hall. Dang everyones acting like they sprayed Mace in our faces it was and whipped us with tree limbs. (deleted)

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Friday, April 20, 2012
Article comment by: Cody R. W, Atherton

Let me see if I got this straight: A teacher fires blanks at his students and he's facing 12 felony charges of five years each. Steve Smith and his troops open fire on hundreds of teachers and it's considered training. We all need to start penning letters to the District and State Attorney's offices.Let them subpoena the tape and then it will be given to the press.

Posted: Friday, April 20, 2012
Article comment by: Dale Dorman

This needs to be reviewed by the Riverside Grand Jury as it appears there is the potential of Felony violations in this matter. This seems to be a seminar in poor judgement. The main issue is quite simple. It is a felony to brandish a weapon period! This was a public venue involve private citizen's, not a police officer's training. A man was just arrested in Va for the exact same thing and charged. Being a Peace Office does not excuse behavior.

Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Article comment by: Ru Arm

From MSN http://now.msn.com/now/0419-teacher-fires-blanks-at-students.aspx

Foolish teacher arrested for firing blanks at his students

Students at a vocational school who just wanted to learn how to weld were afraid for their lives when their teacher lined them up, pulled a gun from his waistband and started firing blanks at them. Police in Abingdon, Va., say Manuael Ernest Dillow got the attention of his 12 students and lined them up near a large garage door and then fired off between four and 10 rounds. Students said the sound was similar to that of an actual firearm and left them afraid for their lives. No students were injured, and police haven't stated why the instructor pulled the stunt, but he's facing 12 felony charges of brandishing a firearm, each of which can carry up to five years in jail.


Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

Did anyone read about the teacher that got arrested for firing blanks at his students. Location, Abingdon,VA. 12 students and he is being charged with 12 felonies at 5 years each. I know not the same. But. Things that make you go hmmm


Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Article comment by: Michael C. Teniente

"Jim Ewert, legal counsel for the California Newspaper Publisher's Association, disagreed with Palmer's assessment and said that Lane attended the training and shot the video while working as city manager."

Lane was acting in the capacity of a city official. And that tape should be considered as city property because Lane, I'm pretty sure was paid to be there. And if he was hired to be there...then that tape is part of what the city paid for.

None of it is private.

mike t.


Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Article comment by: none none

I'm pretty sure that the 2nd person running in with a weapon isn't a police officer. A forensics specialist, Yes, Police Officer, No. That in itself is very interesting.

Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Article comment by: Sue us, Please!!!

Of course Greg Palmer wants the paper to sue. He'll collect a paycheck from the city taxpayers in legal fees, lose the case, and then the city taxpayers will have to pony up another $10,000 in legal fees to pay the newspaper's attorneys. Meanwhile Palmer will be laughing all the way to the bank. It's a win win for Greg Palmer.

Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Article comment by: Al Coholic

Wish my dad was still alive for this one. Being the cop that he was he would've pointed out how stupid this was in the first place. You don't need a live demonstration when there's so much footage available from real incidents to draw training material from.

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Article comment by: Mac Daddy Daddy

Yay, lets sue the city and schools this week so next week we can whine and cry about the loss of city and school jobs. What a bunch of fools...

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Article comment by: @ Marty

why all the rambling - you know "Please keep comments succinct 300 words or less is optimal. Comments that are excessively verbose, rambling or too long for reasonable review may not be posted". What's up with velez and penal code, etc???

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Article comment by: fevelez knows how to rip the gov't

Obama stimulus money has got to be spent - well all the teachers better get used to it - this is for your own good - the cops don't have everyday budget money to 'TRAIN TEACHERS" - this was probably a grant (thanx to all the liberal programs) given out in some earmark. It's another program all the teachers unions like and want imposed on everybody else. But don't impose on them anything they don't want to do, lol. Too bad - you teachers are teaching our children the wrong things - like if you don't want to do homework - well just make an excuse - my ears hurt, I don't want to, I feel sick, etc. etc. etc. What fine role models. FE Velez is the finest role model for how to fake an injury and screw the state (or city or county, etc)


Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Article comment by: Paulette Wilson

I like Jose's comment! (Deleted)

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Article comment by: funny funny

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.


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