The phone calls were recorded after a car crash where a prosecutor was suspected of drunk driving.
The recordings appear to show police officers trying to avoid arresting the prosecutor.
The city argued the recordings fell under an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The city said there was a pending federal court case surrounding the incident and the officers did not know they were being recorded. But the Court of Appeals disagreed.
The requests were “Journalism 101” said Vice President of Content for MLive Media Group, John Hiner.