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Brown v. City of Ferguson

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

September 12, 2016

MICHAEL BROWN, SR., et al., Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF FERGUSON, MISSOURI, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          E. RICHARD WEBBER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of St. Louis County and St. Louis County Police Department's (“Movants”) Motion for In Camera Examination and Clarification of Protective Order [ECF No. 123]. Movants ask the Court to conduct an in camera review of a number of photographs which they claim are highly inflammatory and susceptible to unlawful discrimination. Movants also seek the Court's direction regarding the disclosure of those individuals who did not testify to the grand jury and did not directly participate in the official investigations but whose names appear only incidentally in an official document.[1]

         The Court has conducted an in camera review of the documents submitted by Movants and makes the following rulings.

         On August 29, 2016, Linda Wasserman, representing the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of St. Louis County (“Prosecutor's Office”), produced 341[2] photographs marked “Confidential Sealed Document RE Protective Order for Judge Webber's Eyes Only.” The Court has examined each photograph. The following photographs are ordered produced to counsel for the parties designed by the protective order:

         Series 1 (2401)

1. DSC_0001.JPG;

32. DSC_0049.JPG;

63. DSC_0087.JPG;

2. DSC_0018.JPG;

33. DSC_0050.JPG;

64. DSC_0088.JPG;

3. DSC_0019.JPG;

34. DSC_0051.JPG;

65. DSC_0089.JPG;

4. DSC_0020.JPG;

35. DSC_0052.JPG;

66. DSC_0090.JPG;

5. DSC_0021.JPG;

36. DSC_0053.JPG;

67. DSC_0102.JPG;

6. DSC_0022.JPG;

37. DSC_0054.JPG;

68. DSC_0103.JPG;

7. DSC_0023.JPG;

38. DSC_0055.JPG;

69. DSC_0104.JPG;

8. DSC_0024.JPG;

39. DSC_0056.JPG;

70. DSC_0105.JPG;

9. DSC_0025.JPG;

40. DSC_0057.JPG;

71. DSC_0106.JPG;

10. DSC_0026.JPG;

41. DSC_0058.JPG;

72. DSC_0107.JPG;

11. DSC_0027.JPG;

42. DSC_0064.JPG;

73. DSC_0108.JPG;

12. DSC_0028.JPG;

43. DSC_0065.JPG;

74. DSC_0109.JPG;

13. DSC_0029.JPG;

44. DSC_0066.JPG;

75. DSC_0110.JPG;

14. DSC_0030.JPG;

45. DSC_0067.JPG;

76. DSC_0111.JPG;

15. DSC_0032.JPG;

46. DSC_0068.JPG;

77. DSC_0112.JPG;

16. DSC_0033.JPG;

47. DSC_0070.JPG;

78. DSC_0113.JPG;

17. DSC_0034.JPG;

48. DSC_0071.JPG;

79. DSC_0116.JPG;

18. DSC_0035.JPG;

49. DSC_0072.JPG;

80. DSC_0117.JPG;

19. DSC_0036.JPG;

50. DSC_0073.JPG;

81. DSC_0118.JPG;

20. DSC_0037.JPG;

51. DSC_0074.JPG;

82. DSC_0119.JPG;

21. DSC_0038.JPG;

52. DSC_0075.JPG;

83. DSC_0120.JPG;

22. DSC_0039.JPG;

53. DSC_0076.JPG;

84. DSC_0121.JPG;

23. DSC_0040.JPG;

54. DSC_0077.JPG;

85. DSC_0125.JPG;

24. DSC_0041.JPG;

55. DSC_0078.JPG;

86. DSC_0126.JPG;

25. DSC_0042.JPG;

56. DSC_0079.JPG;

87. DSC_0149.JPG;

26. DSC_0043.JPG;

57. DSC_0080.JPG;

88. DSC_0150.JPG;

27. DSC_0044.JPG;

58. DSC_0081.JPG;

89. DSC_0151.JPG;

28. DSC_0045.JPG;

59. DSC_0082.JPG;

90. DSC_0152.JPG;

29. DSC_0046.JPG;

60. DSC_0083.JPG;

91. DSC_0153.JPG;

30. DSC_0047.JPG;

61. DSC_0084.JPG;

92. DSC_0154.JPG;

31. DSC_0048.JPG;

62. DSC_0085.JPG;

         Series 2 (3167)

93. DSC_0001.JPG;

96. DSC_0004.JPG;

99. DSC_0007.JPG;

94. DSC_0002.JPG;

97. DSC_0005.JPG;

100. DSC_0008.JPG;

95. DSC_0003.JPG;

98. DSC_0006.JPG;

101. DSC_0009.JPG;

102. DSC_0010.JPG;

143. DSC_0051.JPG;

184. DSC_0123.JPG;

103. DSC_0011.JPG;

144. DSC_0052.JPG;

185. DSC_0124.JPG;

104. DSC_0012.JPG;

145. DSC_0053.JPG;

186. DSC_0125.JPG;

105. DSC_0013.JPG;

146. DSC_0054.JPG;

187. DSC_0126.JPG;

106. DSC_0014.JPG;

147. DSC_0055.JPG;

188. DSC_0127.JPG;

107. DSC_0015.JPG;

148. DSC_0056.JPG;

189. DSC_0128.JPG;

108. DSC_0016.JPG;

149. DSC_0057.JPG;

190. DSC_0129.JPG;

109. DSC_0017.JPG;

150. DSC_0058.JPG;

191. DSC_0130.JPG;

110. DSC_0018.JPG;

151. DSC_0059.JPG;

192. DSC_0131.JPG;

111. DSC_0019.JPG;

152. DSC_0060.JPG;

193. DSC_0132.JPG;

112. DSC_0020.JPG;

153. DSC_0061.JPG;

194. DSC_0133.JPG;

113. DSC_0021.JPG;

154. DSC_0062.JPG;

195. DSC_0134.JPG;

114. DSC_0022.JPG;

155. DSC_0063.JPG;

196. DSC_0135.JPG;

115. DSC_0023.JPG;

156. DSC_0064.JPG;

197. DSC_0136.JPG;

116. DSC_0024.JPG;

157. DSC_0065.JPG;

198. DSC_0137.JPG;

117. DSC_0025.JPG;

158. DSC_0066.JPG;

199. DSC_0138.JPG;

118. DSC_0026.JPG;

159. DSC_0067.JPG;

200. DSC_0139.JPG;

119. DSC_0027.JPG;

160. DSC_0068.JPG;

201. DSC_0140.JPG;

120. DSC_0028.JPG;

161. DSC_0086.JPG;

202. DSC_0141.JPG;

121. DSC_0029.JPG;

162. DSC_0101.JPG;

203. DSC_0142.JPG;

122. DSC_0030.JPG;

163. DSC_0102.JPG;

204. DSC_0143.JPG;

123. DSC_0031.JPG;

164. DSC_0103.JPG;

205. DSC_0144.JPG;

124. DSC_0032.JPG;

165. DSC_0104.JPG;

206. DSC_0145.JPG;

125. DSC_0033.JPG;

166. DSC_0105.JPG;

207. DSC_0146.JPG;

126. DSC_0034.JPG;

167. DSC_0106.JPG;

208. DSC_0147.JPG;

127. DSC_0035.JPG;

168. DSC_0107.JPG;

209. DSC_0148.JPG;

128. DSC_0036.JPG;

169. DSC_0108.JPG;

210. DSC_0149.JPG;

129. DSC_0037.JPG;

170. DSC_0109.JPG;

211. DSC_0150.JPG;

130. DSC_0038.JPG;

171. DSC_0110.JPG;

212. DSC_0151.JPG;

131. DSC_0039.JPG;

172. DSC_0111.JPG;

213. DSC_0152.JPG;

132. DSC_0040.JPG;

173. DSC_0112.JPG;

214. DSC_0153.JPG;

133. DSC_0041.JPG;

174. DSC_0113.JPG;

215. DSC_0154.JPG;

134. DSC_0042.JPG;

175. DSC_0114.JPG;

216. DSC_0155.JPG;

135. DSC_0043.JPG;

176. DSC_0115.JPG;

217. DSC_0156.JPG;

136. DSC_0044.JPG;

177. DSC_0116.JPG;

218. DSC_0157.JPG;

137. DSC_0045.JPG;

178. DSC_0117.JPG;

219. DSC_0158.JPG;

138. DSC_0046.JPG;

179. DSC_0118.JPG;

220. DSC_0159.JPG;

139. DSC_0047.JPG;

180. DSC_0119.JPG;

221. DSC_0160.JPG;

140. DSC_0048.JPG;

181. DSC_0120.JPG;

222. DSC_0161.JPG;

141. DSC_0049.JPG;

182. DSC_0121.JPG;

142. DSC_0050.JPG;

183. DSC_0122.JPG;

         The following photographs are excluded from production. A party “may obtain discovery regarding nonprivileged matter that is relevant to [its] claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case.” Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 26(b)(1). These photographs are extremely inflammatory. Further, these photographs do not further any claim or defense asserted by a party and will not be admissible at a trial. Discovery of these photographs is not proportional to the needs of the case. See Haukereid v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., 816 F.3d 527, 534 (8th Cir. 2016) (affirming a district court's denial of a discovery request stating the record already contained evidence about the issue and the party had not shown if the discovery request had been granted, the evidence would have affected the issue.). Included in the 222 photographs ordered disclosed are autopsy photographs of Michael Brown. They are to be delivered to counsel designated by the protective order by the Prosecutor's Office. These photographs are relevant for ballistic or other evidentiary purposes. The following photographs, which are inflammatory and have no relevance separate and apart from their inflammatory nature, will not be disclosed.

         Series 1 (2401)

1. DSC_0002.JPG;

22. DSC_0063.JPG;

43. DSC_0129.JPG;

2. DSC_0003.JPG;

23. DSC_0069.JPG;

44. DSC_0130.JPG;

3. DSC_0004.JPG;

24. DSC_0086.JPG;

45. DSC_0131.JPG;

4. DSC_0005.JPG;

25. DSC_0091.JPG;

46. DSC_0132.JPG;

5. DSC_0006.JPG;

26. DSC_0092.JPG;

47. DSC_0133.JPG;

6. DSC_0007.JPG:

27. DSC_0093.JPG;

48. DSC_0134.JPG;

7. DSC_0008.JPG;

28. DSC_0094.JPG;

49. DSC_0135.JPG;

8. DSC_0009.JPG;

29. DSC_0095.JPG;

50. DSC_0136.JPG;

9. DSC_0010.JPG;

30. DSC_0096.JPG;

51. DSC_0137.JPG;

10. DSC_0011.JPG;

31. DSC_0097.JPG;

52. DSC_0138.JPG;

11. DSC_0012.JPG;

32. DSC_0098.JPG;

53. DSC_0139.JPG;

12. DSC_0013.JPG;

33. DSC_0099.JPG;

54. DSC_0140.JPG;

13. DSC_0014.JPG;

34. DSC_0100.JPG;

55. DSC_0141.JPG;

14. DSC_0015.JPG;

35. DSC_0101.JPG;

56. DSC_0142.JPG;

15. DSC_0016.JPG:

36. DSC_0114.JPG;

57. DSC_0143.JPG:

16. DSC_0017.JPG

37. DSC_0115.JPG;

58. DSC_0144.JPG;

17. DSC_0031.JPG;

38. DSC_0122.JPG;

59. DSC_0145.JPG;

18. DSC_0059.JPG;

39. DSC_0123.JPG;

60. DSC_0146.JPG;

19. DSC_0060.JPG;

40. DSC_0124.JPG;

61. DSC_0147.JPG;

20. DSC_0061.JPG;

41. DSC_0127.JPG;

62. DSC_0148.JPG;

21. DSC_0062.JPG;

42. DSC_0128.JPG;

         Series 2 (3167)

63. DSC_0069.JPG;

74. DSC_0080.JPG;

85. DSC_0092.JPG;

64. DSC_0070.JPG;

75. DSC_0081.JPG;

86. DSC_0093.JPG;

65. DSC_0071.JPG;

76. DSC_0082.JPG;

87. DSC_0094.JPG;

66. DSC_0072.JPG;

77. DSC_0083.JPG;

88. DSC_0095.JPG;

67. DSC_0073.JPG;

78. DSC_0084.JPG;

89. DSC_0096.JPG;

68. DSC_0074.JPG;

79. DSC_0085.JPG;

90. DSC_0097.JPG;

69. DSC_0075.JPG;

80. DSC_0087.JPG;

91. DSC_0098.JPG;

70. DSC_0076.JPG;

81. DSC_0088.JPG;

92. DSC_0099.JPG;

71. DSC_0077.JPG;

82. DSC_0089.JPG;

93. DSC_0100.JPG.

72. DSC_0078.JPG;

83. DSC_0090.JPG;

73. DSC_0079.JPG;

84. DSC_0091.JPG;

         Grand jury exhibits numbered 15, 101, 102, 104, 105, and 106 will be ordered disclosed to the parties. The Court received eight pages containing paper images of thirty-one unidentified and unnumbered photographs depicting streets, residential buildings, and an apparent ...


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