CALIFORNIA COPS CONTINUE TO PRETEND NEW PUBLIC RECORDS LAW ALLOWS THEM TO ERASE YEARS OF PAST MISCONDUCT FROM THE RECORD | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


CALIFORNIA COPS CONTINUE TO PRETEND NEW PUBLIC RECORDS LAW ALLOWS THEM TO ERASE YEARS OF PAST MISCONDUCT FROM THE RECORD

On January 1st, a California law went into effect turning long-shielded police misconduct records into public records. Prior to its enactment, at least one law enforcement agency executed a mass purge of older records, preemptively stunting the law's effectiveness.
The law has also faced legal challenges from California police unions and law enforcement agencies seeking a declaration that the law is not retroactive and PDs should only have to release misconduct records created past the date of the law's effectiveness. The state Supreme Court declined an invitation to review the law, but three police unions in Contra Costa County have managed to secure a temporary restraining order while this aspect of the law is sorted out.

The law doesn't contain any language suggesting it does not apply retroactively. But it also doesn't contain any language specifically stating it applies retroactively and that's the wedge law enforcement agencies are trying to drive between themselves and their new obligations to the public. But the lawsuits aren't just coming from the law enforcement side. Agencies are now being sued for failing to turn over documents the new law says the public can obtain.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There must be some pretty awful situations, to make Cali police believe that they have better expunge some of this records, and quickly.

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