Kodiak Public Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of public radio station KMXT, has filed suit against the City of Kodiak, seeking the release of public documents related to the detention, handcuffing, pepper-spraying and assault of Nick Pletnikoff, an autistic man, by three Kodiak Police officers in mid-September.
The lawsuit is the result of the city denying the station’s Freedom of Information Act request, citing its own investigation and privacy issues over releasing the names of the officers involved.
Other law enforcement agencies, such as the Alaska State Troopers, release names of officers in 72 hours, even after fatal officer-involved shootings. The station is also asking the court to order the release of all audio and video recordings made by the officers, either from their wearable or vehicle dash cameras or voice recorders, as well as all other pertinent documents.
KMXT contends that the release of such information would contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the incident, which occurred September 16th when the 28-year-old Pletnikoff was detained by the three officers just yards from his home while checking his mailbox.
No reason for the officers’ actions, which left Pletnikoff bloodied and bruised, has ever been officially given, though Pletnikoff’s mother Judy Pletnikoff said she was told by an officer at the time that it was because her son wouldn’t answer their questions.
The incident that day is listed in the official police blotter only as “suspicious circumstances.” Nick Pletnikoff was not arrested or charged with any crime.
The case was filed in Kodiak Superior Court.