Public records related to Latin Kings still under seal

A public-information request that I filed related to the Latin Kings in Greensboro a year ago is still not completed, but it's not the city's fault — the US Attorney's Office told them to stop providing public records related to the case. 

On Nov. 1, 2012, the City spokesperson Donnie Turlington informed me that, "This week, we received a notice from the US Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina instructing the City not to release any further documents related the Latin Kings request. The information has been filed with the Court Under Seal and is not permitted to be released."

My understanding, based on conversations with the city and police department, was that the information would be available after the trial concluded. After Latin King leader Jorge Cornell and others were sentenced in August, I immediately asked for the information again. Defendant Russell Kilfoil (King Peaceful) is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 9 (it was postponed), so I figured I may have to wait a little longer, but today, Greensboro Police Attorney Jim Clark provided an update on the situation: 

"As you may have heard about, the US Attorney’s Office has still been working on matters related to the case (I’m thinking about the article I saw last week concerning the trial transcripts in the case).  The US Attorney’s Office tells me that sentencing is set for October 9 and both Jorge Cornell and Ernesto Wilson have appealed.  The US Attorney’s Office also said that it is possible that some of the court’s rulings regarding the admissibility or relevance of the grand jury records will be at issue in an appeal, and therefore the case is not finally disposed.  For that reason, the restriction on grand jury information is still not lifted as yet.  The AUSA will be revisiting this matter and we might get additional guidance from them on this matter within the next few weeks.  If we do, I will pass on that information to you."

A request filed around the same time for similar information was also halted at the same time. Elements of the information revealed in the public documents were used by the defense team in the trial last fall.

I responded with clarifying questions and will post updates if necessary.

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