For releasing their identities, hundreds of officers undercover with the Los Angeles Police Department filed negligence lawsuits against the city and the department.
Stop LAPD Spying Coalition posted the officers’ headshots and personal information to an online searchable database.
According to the group, the website “Watch the Watchers” is meant to empower members of the community who are involved in copwatch or other countersurveillance activities.
It can be used to identify officers causing harm in your area. Its simplicity makes it political, as it flips the direction of surveillance against state agents.”
The group, which seeks to abolish traditional law enforcement agencies and release the photos and names of over 9,300 officers, has released these details. Nearly every sworn officer of the force was involved in the leak, including 321 undercover officers who were allegedly working with cartels and the Mexican mafia.
Matthew McNicholas (one of the cops’ attorneys), said that the leak foiled many undercover operations and put officers’ lives in danger.
Los Angeles attorney’s Office claimed that the LAPD had to provide the information to comply with a journalist’s request for public records. State law allows exceptions for safety or investigative purposes.
The LAPD is accused of “negligent and improperly malicious” disclosure of personal data in the officers’ lawsuit.
McNicholas stated to the Los Angeles Times that “The reckless production of the identities of the undercover officers by the City of Los Angeles does irreparable damage” “The City of Los Angeles, and the LAPD, have a duty of care for their employees. They should have put in place appropriate safeguards to prevent something like this from ever happening.” They must be held responsible for their terrible negligence.”
According to the officers’ lawyer, the department had “ultimately incorrectly” included active-duty undercover police officers and officers with previous undercover assignments without Chief Michel Moore’s knowledge.
Moore said that Moore had made an error in that photographs were in place that shouldn’t have been there. “Now…that ship has sailed.”
The Los Angeles Police Protective League also filed a lawsuit against Moore and the city. The union hopes that the lawsuit will force Moore and the department to “clawback” photographs of officers and prevent further leaks.
Stop the LAPD Spying Coalition reacted and filed a lawsuit against the union, calling it an “assault upon people’s access rights”