The NYPD has formally declined to provide any information about Mayor Bill de Blasio's use of helicopters, including the time a department chopper nearly crashed with the mayor aboard when it landed on Rikers Island or when the police flew him and his wife to a presidential debate on Long Island.
Brushing aside a Freedom of Information request by DNAinfo New York, the NYPD’s Legal Bureau claimed its FOIL Unit was “unable to locate responsive records" — although the department keeps meticulous logs on the NYPD Aviation Unit's daily use of its fleet of choppers.
NYPD lawyers went even further, asserting that, even if they could find the applicable records on when the mayor was aboard an NYPD chopper, the department would not turn them over, anyway.
“If such records existed, they would be exempt on the basis of Public Officers Law or Section 87(2)(e)(iv), as such information, if disclosed, would reveal non-routine techniques and procedures,” the NYPD claimed in a brief three-sentence response.
City and state experts on FOIL, however, say the NYPD is completely wrong — and officials “obviously” know where flight records are located, and turning them over would not disclose anything unusual about “techniques and procedures.”