The names and photos of the undercover cops were given to a tech surveillance organization, which then posted them online. As a result, the Los Angeles Police Chief and the Department’s Director of Constitutional Policing are currently under investigation.
During a police board hearing on Tuesday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore offered his “deep apologies” to undercover officers who were not given advance notice of the revelation. After a public records request by a Knock LA media reporter, watchdog organization Stop LAPD Spying Coalition revealed more than 9,300 cops’ personal data and images Friday in a searchable Internet database, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Each officer’s name, ethnicity, rank, date of hire, badge number, and division or agency are all listed in the database. It was not immediately clear how many police officers were mentioned having secret positions. Stop LAPD The Spying Coalition says the database should be used for counter-surveillance instead of police intelligence gathering. The group said, “You can use it to identify officers who are harming your neighborhood.” “The police operate in secret while having access to a wealth of information about each of us.”
According to the Times, the department’s accidental release of the names and photos of the undercover cops. The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank and file officers, filed a misconduct complaint against Moore and Liz Rhodes on Monday, prompting the department’s inspector general to open an investigation into their actions.
The AP reports that while the city attorney’s office said the agency was legally obligated to send the documents under California law, exemptions are sometimes granted for security or investigative reasons. According to police officials, the images in the database pose a threat to the safety of current and potential undercover agents. Ben Camacho, a reporter for The Knock LA, tweeted that he sued and requested the tapes in order to get the photos last year.
He claimed that when the department objected to their release, the subject of officer safety was never brought up. According to a screenshot the reporter posted online, an assistant city attorney said in an email to Camacho’s attorney in 2022 that “the only officers they prohibit from disclosing are police officers. ‘infiltration, which is typical’.
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