City Maintains Right to Secrecy In Pletnikoff Incident


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Attorneys for the City of Kodiak this week filed a response to Kodiak Public Broadcasting’s public records lawsuit.

In its filing, the city rejected all arguments that it should immediately release documents the identities of three Kodiak Police officers involved in an alleged police brutality incident involving a young autistic man, Nick Pletnikoff, in September.

Very little new information was revealed in the city’s answer to the court, however the city did file something called a “Vaughn Index,” which listed what the documents were that it was keeping from the public. They include a 911 audio recording, body-cam videos from all three officers and a video interview with an unidentified witness.

While letting stand the motion seeking the documents from the Pletnikoff case, Superior Court Judge Steve Cole last month denied Kodiak Public Broadcasting’s motion for an expedited order to put the case on a fast track. But in a handwritten note on the order, Judge Cole wrote he would make the case a priority in issuing rulings.

When that might happen is unknown, however, as Judge Cole also issued a pretrial order asking both parties to select dates they find agreeable to start a trial within the next 12 months. He also encouraged the attorneys for both parties to enter into negotiations to try and settle the matter out of court.

In September KMXT News filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city seeking information about the September 16th encounter Pletnikoff had with the three officers on his street, which left the autistic young man bloodied and bruised after he was handcuffed and pepper-sprayed. Pletnikoff was not arrested nor was he ever charged with any crime. In the police blotter for that date, the incident was downplayed, listed only as “suspicious circumstances; all okay.”

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