The Los Angeles Police Protection League filed a lawsuit on March 17 against the owner of a “murder cop” website that allegedly paid officers for publishing photos and other personal information.
In response to public records requests by journalists, the LAPD released the names and headshots of more than 9,300 police officers. This includes nearly all sworn officers in the military, including undercover cops working with the Mexican mafia and cartels.
The information was posted to an online database called “Watch the Watchers” by the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, a group aiming to abolish traditional law enforcement.
“This website is intended as a tool to empower community members engaged in Cop Watch and other countersurveillance activities,” the group said. I have written“It can be used to identify cops who are causing harm to their communities. The website’s ease of use also makes it a political statement, reversing the direction of surveillance against state agents.”
of los angeles times reported that legal action has been taken on behalf of officers Adam Gross, Adrian Rodriguez and Douglas Panameno, who have asked to have their personal information removed from the website.
Los Angeles Police Department Detective Jamie McBride said:Fox & Friends FirstHe believes that “reckless behavior” “incites violence” against law enforcement officers.
“This has never happened before in my 32-year career… This is uncharted territory for all of us,” McBride said. They are going to take precautions now and always look behind them on their way home from work.”
McBride explained that at a time when the LAPD is already facing staffing shortages, making police information public is likely to have a significant impact on recruitment.
In the lawsuit, website owner Stephen Sutcliffe said, “Remember #detectives and #cops #rewards are double all year long.
In another tweet, Sutcliffe allegedly posted a captioned link to a database of photos of LAPD officers.
Sutcliffe’s Twitter account @KillerCop1984 has since been deleted.
He told the Los Angeles Times that the lawsuit was “vicious” and “retaliatory.”
“It’s compelling and frivolous. Their moves are full of lies,” Sutcliffe said. “They are trying to silence my free speech. The truth is not retaliatory. It is First Amendment protected speech.”
“It’s not as simple as free speech,” McBride argued.
“It’s not free speech. It’s a reckless act and it will incite violence because there are people who are a little bit off-center right now. Let’s go to the police,’ he said, ‘be a policeman and make money.’
LAPD Chief Michelle Moore reported that police are investigating to determine whether “inviting violence against officers” is a crime.
“The posts, the nature of the posts, they’re not just threatening. They’re threatening and can constitute a crime,” Moore said. “This makes these photos ostensibly transparent.” It’s one of the things I worried and feared that others would use to intimidate our officers when we released it for the public.”
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