What’s the deal, NYPD?

I know I’m probably expecting way too much out of a massive bureaucracy with a, shall we say, less-than-stellar reputation for community and media relations, but it’s been exactly a month since I e-mailed a formal Freedom of Information request for release of all information and documents related to the murder of Harlem resident Benjamin Adair in 1925. It’s been suggested that three famous Negro League players — Oliver Marcell, Dave Brown and Frank Wickware — were at least at the scene when Adair was gunned down.

Well, I called the NYPD public relations office and was gruffly told that they have no way to track every single FOI inquiry that comes their way — it probably numbers in the hundreds, if not thousands — and that I’d be contacted when a determination has been made. The guy with whom I talked said there’s no timeline for when that decision will come down.

So I basically got the brush off. But, having dealt with police departments in my previous life as a news and investigative reporter — although none of those PDs have been near the size of NYC — I know that you have to keep on them in order to get any result/reaction at all. So on it goes …

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