We’ve been working with a group of folks working on tools for identifying police officers in real time, mostly by making and following up on CPRA requests to local police agencies for their rosters, which then go into various databases, including NN35007‘s fabulous Twitter bot @WhosThatCop.
We always ask for name, rank, numbers of various kinds, gender, and race, all of which are useful for identifying officers on the street. Most of the 40 or so agencies I sent requests to initially responded promptly and in material compliance with the law, but of course not all of them, so we’ve had to start filing lawsuits.
Continue reading Four New CPRA Petitions Filed In Support Of The Los Angeles County Police Rosters Project
The California Public Records Act at section 6253 tells us that “[p]ublic records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the state or local agency.” In order to understand laws it’s important to read the definitions. At section 6252 the CPRA tells us that
“Local agency” includes a county; city, whether general law or chartered; city and county; school district; municipal corporation; district; political subdivision; or any board, commission or agency thereof.
So the City of Los Angeles is clearly a local agency by this definition. Arguably its various commissions, boards, or subdivisions are also local agencies by this definition. And that’s the position that CoLA itself takes. That, e.g. City Council is a local agency, but Council Committees are distinct local agencies, as are, e.g. LADWP, LAPD, etc. Why, you might well ask, does this matter at all? Well, it matters due to section 6253(c), which states that:
Each agency, upon a request for a copy of records, shall, within 10 days from receipt of the request, determine whether the request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in the possession of the agency and shall promptly notify the person making the request of the determination and the reasons therefor.
Continue reading The City of Los Angeles Should Be A Single Agency With Respect To The California Public Records Act Because Right Now The City Denies That They Are Which Obviates A Key Clause Of The Law