CNN has filed a formal complaint with Missouri's Attorney General over the fees being charged by the city of Ferguson, Missorui for access to public records.
The network had requested emails to and from Officer Darren Wilson and anyone in the police department on the day of the Michael Brown shooting, and in the days that followed. The city responded with a bill demanding a $2000 deposit for the work to even begin. A CNN appeal to the Ferguson city council to waive or reduced the fees was denied.
CNN says the fees violate both the letter and spirit of the state's open records laws, which require public records to be produced without charge, or at a reduced cost when it is in the public interest. The law also says government offices cannot charge more than the hourly cost of its lowest-paid employee to do the work.
RTDNA sent a similar letter of complaint to the Attorney General last week, as the Associated Press and other newsrooms began reporting about the excessive fees.