LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The ACLU of Southern California filed a legal action today seeking access to use-of-force and other records from the Inglewood Police Department as well as a temporary restraining order preventing any potentially relevant records from being destroyed.
The Los Angeles Superior Court petition seeks the information under the California Public Records Act and Senate Bill 1421, which was enacted in 2018 by the Legislature and enables the public to access peace officer records concerning uses of force and police misconduct that had been previously unavailable.
In response to the ACLU’s demands, the IPD “has repeatedly dodged these requests for nearly three years now and appears determined to ignore its obligations under the law absent intervention by this court,” the petition states.
Inglewood City Attorney Kenneth Campos did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The ACLU’s petition asks for records that involve uses of force causing death or great bodily injury, discharges of firearms at a person, sustained findings of sexual assault involving a member of the public and sustained findings of dishonesty in the reporting, investigation or prosecution of a crime or investigation of misconduct.
Instead of complying and despite multiple followup efforts, the department “has still not produced a single responsive record” and on Dec. 14, the Inglewood City Council adopted a resolution authorizing the IPD to destroy records that are potentially responsive to the ACLU’s requests, the petition states.
When the ACLU demanded that the department refrain from destroying any such records, the ACLU received no response, according to the petition.
The Inglewood city council voted unanimously to destroy certain police records during the Dec. 14 regular city council meeting. The action was taken after a member of the LA County public defender’s office called in requesting the agenda item be pulled under the guidelines of Senate Bill 776 related to making certain police records available upon request.
The council removed agenda item #10, but voted in favor of it later in the meeting. Mayor Butts explained voting in favor of the resolution was necessary to affirm the retention schedule to “remove” the records as the mayor didn’t want to use the word “destruction” to describe the action.
You can listen to the mayor’s response to why they were destroying the documents by clicking here.
2UrbanGirls contributed to this article