July 19, 2016 – The Herald Tribune
by Zach Murdoch
A federal judge has denied the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida’s request for records pertaining to the use of StingRay cellphone surveillance devices in the Sarasota area.
Tampa U.S. District Court Judge Steven D. Merryday ruled Friday that the ACLU’s argument that the city of Sarasota should produce correspondence or records related to a police detective’s use of a StingRay device was “without proof.”
Instead, Detective Michael Jackson was working in his capacity as deputy U.S. Marshal and member of a special federal task force, so the request under state records laws was irrelevant, according to the order.
Barfield denies that either judgement is a victory for the city. Citizens for Sunshine already has filed an appeal in the Chapman case and the city of Sarasota settled one of the three StingRay cases that sprang from a police raid on a Sarasota woman’s apartment in 2013, he said.
The city and U.S. Marshals ultimately paid the woman $93,000 in the settlement and a state court late last year unsealed some StingRay-related court records to end a second court case, Barfield and court records indicated. The final judgement in the federal portion last week is simply the last leg of the case, and an ACLU panel could choose to appeal the decision, Barfield said. [READ MORE]