What is the government hiding about Bruce Springsteen’s arrest? And whatever it is, could it help his case?
I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of the Interior when Springsteen’s arrest was announced, at the suggestion of a local New Jersey police insider. This was because the record of Bruce’s arrest wasn’t available through regular police inquiries. The arrest had been in a national park, so it was a federal issue, they said.
In the interim, TMZ and other outlets ferreted out what they thought was the complete police report. In that report, Springsteen told an arresting officer that he had consumed “two shots of tequila in the last 20 minutes.” It continued: “Springsteen smelt strongly of alcohol coming off his person and had glassy eyes,” the report continued, before stating that the New Jersey singer, who was arrested for DWI, performed a “standardized field sobriety tests and observed four out of six clues on the [horizontal gaze] test.”
But now today my FOIA request was denied. But in the denial came this news: “We are withholding 24 pages of records due to the case is still pending trial.”
The reason for the withholding, it says, is because of Exemption 6. “Exemption 6 allows an agency to withhold “personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
Also Exemption 7: “Exemption 7(C) protects law enforcement records if their release could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. It is regularly applied to withhold references to individuals in law enforcement files. For the materials that have been withheld under 7(C), we have determined that releasing them would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy because they identify individuals referenced in law enforcement records and the release of this information would not shed light on an agency’s performance of its statutory duties.”
What is going on here? Why is this arrest not transparent? It’s a minor infraction at best. I’ve appealed the denial, although that may not be answered before Springsteen’s February 24th virtual court appearance.
As I’ve written before, I’ve rarely seen anyone as selfless and menschy as Bruce Springsteen, let alone a gigantic public figure. Let’s hope we get to the bottom of this, and do some good for Bruce for a change.