Yale students want to study ‘Coke’ DVDs

Christopher “Dudus” Coke.

KINGSTON — Three Yale Law School students have filed a Freedom of Information Act, calling on the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, to release aerial surveillance footage compiled during the Tivoli operation, to detain Jamaican strongman Christopher Dudus Coke, who was wanted in the United States on drugs and firearms charges.

In 2010, Jamaican police and military officials moved into Tivoli Gardens in a bid to arrest Coke, following an extradition request from Washington.

The operations led to the deaths of more than 70 civilians.

The three students filed the suit on behalf of Mattathias Schwartz, the reporter who covered the event for The New Yorker magazine.

The suit, which was filed on December 19, 2012, arose from Freedom of Information requests that Schwartz had made to the DEA and other federal agencies for records pertaining to the Tivoli operation.

The DEA has until January 22 to respond.

An article appearing on the Yale Law School website, noted that although the DEA has acknowledged in response to Schwartz’s requests that it is in possession of six DVDs containing aerial surveillance footage of the raid, it has refused to release them, citing six exemptions under the US Freedom of Information Act.

The students, who are members of Yale’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, argue in the complaint, filed in federal district court in the Eastern District of New York, that none of the exemptions are applicable to the footage being sought.

The MFIA was established to, among other things, defend the public’s right of access to government information. (Gleaner)

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