Tag Archives: LAPD Discovery Section

Michel Moore Sent Me A Really Aggressive Letter — Saying That I Ask For Too Many Records — And They Can’t Understand My Requests — Because I Intentionally Make Them Impossible To Understand — And Moore Reads My Blog! — And Doesn’t Understand What He’s Reading! — Or Pretends Not To — And Throws My Own Words Back At Me — The Ones That Don’t Say What He Apparently Thinks Or Pretends To Think They Say —And Yet In 2012 When Some USC Prof Asked LAPD For 762,000 Pages — Yes — You Read That Right — LAPD Was All Like Sure Thing Herr Doctor Professor! — Is 6,000 Pages A Week OK With You Good Sir? — And A Quick Calculation Reveals That All My Requests To The City Probably Don’t Total This Much — And I Don’t Work At USC — So No Records For Me!

You want to know how angry the LAPD is at me? Well, they are so angry that Chief Michel Moore, who apparently reads my blog obsessively but fails to understand most of it, wrote me a really aggressive, really disrespectful letter about how freaking mean I am to everybody and they’re not going to work very hard on my requests for public records going forward.1 No, really, read the letter! Cut through all the nonsense in there and all it really says is that they’re going to continue not filling my requests and lying about the reasons. But of course they’re doing that anyway, so it’s not much of a threat.

But let’s talk about why Moore is so angry at me! Start with the quality of my requests, and remember, this is Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore speaking: you frequently submit CPRA requests to the Department that are complex, vague, and/or overbroad, which create considerable burdens for the Department, and which significantly constrain the ability of some of the Department’s staff to fulfill their other work responsibilities and efficiently serve other members of the public.

This is interesting, because much of what he says is wrong. Some of it’s actually incredibly deceptive. First of all, I never write vague requests. I just don’t. What would be the point? Second, my requests are not overbroad, a word which in any case does not have an objective meaning in relation to the CPRA. Finally, it’s possible that some of my requests are complex, although I doubt it. I can’t think of any that aren’t straightforward.
Continue reading Michel Moore Sent Me A Really Aggressive Letter — Saying That I Ask For Too Many Records — And They Can’t Understand My Requests — Because I Intentionally Make Them Impossible To Understand — And Moore Reads My Blog! — And Doesn’t Understand What He’s Reading! — Or Pretends Not To — And Throws My Own Words Back At Me — The Ones That Don’t Say What He Apparently Thinks Or Pretends To Think They Say —And Yet In 2012 When Some USC Prof Asked LAPD For 762,000 Pages — Yes — You Read That Right — LAPD Was All Like Sure Thing Herr Doctor Professor! — Is 6,000 Pages A Week OK With You Good Sir? — And A Quick Calculation Reveals That All My Requests To The City Probably Don’t Total This Much — And I Don’t Work At USC — So No Records For Me!

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I Asked LAPD For Copies Of Their Official Podcast — LAPD Discovery Boss Kris Tu Refused To Hand Them Over — And Then Made Up A Bunch Of Obvious Lies About Why He Could Not Produce And Was Not Required To — And Then Told Me Actually He Could Produce Two Of Them — But I Would Have To Pay Five Dollars For A CD — Which He Would Mail To Me Or I Could Pick It Up In Person — All Of Which Is Not Only A Violation Of The CPRA — But Also Of The Los Angeles Governmental Ethics Laws — So I Filed A Complaint Against Him With The City Ethics Commission — And Also With His LAPD Supervisor — I Am Hoping That Such Complaints Will End Up Being An Alternate CPRA Enforcement Mechanism In The City Of Los Angeles

UPDATE: This story is about my attempt to get copies of 24 episodes of an LAPD podcast. LAPD has so far refused to produce them to me but I independently found a way to download them from the Department’s podcast host. I uploaded all 24 to the Internet Archive and you can get copies at this link.

This is a story about two things. First, yet another instance of the Los Angeles Police Department violating the California Public Records Act in yet another completely novel way.1 Second, about a new tactic I thought of to enforce CPRA compliance by the City of Los Angeles in general and LAPD in particular, that I am trying out for the first time.

The idea is that some of the City’s violations of the CPRA are specifically designed to hinder me personally and that this is a violation of LAMC 49.5.5, which forbids misuse of official position to create a private disadvantage. On Friday, July 31, 2020, I filed a complaint against LAPD Discovery supervisor Kris Tu on this basis. Read on for details!
Continue reading I Asked LAPD For Copies Of Their Official Podcast — LAPD Discovery Boss Kris Tu Refused To Hand Them Over — And Then Made Up A Bunch Of Obvious Lies About Why He Could Not Produce And Was Not Required To — And Then Told Me Actually He Could Produce Two Of Them — But I Would Have To Pay Five Dollars For A CD — Which He Would Mail To Me Or I Could Pick It Up In Person — All Of Which Is Not Only A Violation Of The CPRA — But Also Of The Los Angeles Governmental Ethics Laws — So I Filed A Complaint Against Him With The City Ethics Commission — And Also With His LAPD Supervisor — I Am Hoping That Such Complaints Will End Up Being An Alternate CPRA Enforcement Mechanism In The City Of Los Angeles

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You Know How War Criminals Shred All Their Documents When Anti-Fash Forces Start Getting Too Close? — LAPD Destroyed Or Misplaced All Of Its Emails Prior To January First 2016 — They Are All Gone — The History Of Our City Is Being Destroyed Either Intentionally Or By Idiocy And There Is Presently No Legal Remedy — Also Interesting That In March 2016 LAPD Was Being Sued — And Didn’t Produce Emails Required For Discovery — And Blamed It On Technical Difficulties But Did Not At That Time Mention The Loss Of All Emails — And Also Dorner — February 2013 — All Emails Related To Dorner Are Gone — Which Is A Huge Relief To Some Folks I’m Sure — Also Some Important Technical Info On How LAPD Discovery Processes Cases

I mean, the headline says it all. If you ever make a request for public records involving emails from LAPD their NextRequest platform will tell you:

Please be advised that with regards to requests for Department e-mails, the Department only has access to e-mails from January 1, 2016 to present. E-mails that were sent or received prior to 2016 are not available to be queried or otherwise retrieved. When requesting e-mails, please be as specific as possible as to time frame, subject matter, key words, etc. that will enable the Department to conduct a thorough search for responsive records.

And LAPD has lied to me so often, so thoroughly, and so needlessly, that for a long time I just assumed that they were lying about that also and didn’t think much of it. But at some point I started to wonder, so I made a request for public records relating to the statement, and, amazingly, they produced a whole set of emails about it!1

And it appears to be true that they no longer have any LAPD emails from prior to January 1, 2016. They’re just gone. The date, by the way, is when LAPD switched from Groupwise to Outlook for email. According to LAPD Info Tech officer Javier Macias:

Groupwise/Retain emails are no longer available as that email server is out of service. Our IT staff and vendors attempted for 4 months to revive this server without any success and we no longer can retrieve any data from it. Only Dept emails on the Outlook e-discovery server are available from 1/1/2016 to present.

Continue reading You Know How War Criminals Shred All Their Documents When Anti-Fash Forces Start Getting Too Close? — LAPD Destroyed Or Misplaced All Of Its Emails Prior To January First 2016 — They Are All Gone — The History Of Our City Is Being Destroyed Either Intentionally Or By Idiocy And There Is Presently No Legal Remedy — Also Interesting That In March 2016 LAPD Was Being Sued — And Didn’t Produce Emails Required For Discovery — And Blamed It On Technical Difficulties But Did Not At That Time Mention The Loss Of All Emails — And Also Dorner — February 2013 — All Emails Related To Dorner Are Gone — Which Is A Huge Relief To Some Folks I’m Sure — Also Some Important Technical Info On How LAPD Discovery Processes Cases

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It Took Me Two Months To Get Even A Minimal Amount Of The Story Behind A May 7 Copaganda Tweet From LAPD Central Division Supreme Commander Timothy Scott Harrelson — With A Public Records Act Request That I Filed Pretending To Be A Reporter At Blue Line News — Which I Made Up And Bought A Domain For To Use For Email — And — Even Though Obvious — The Ploy Worked Briefly In That Commander Harrelson Apparently Told LAPD Discovery Staff That He Was Going To Call Me — Me Being The Made Up Reporter Rose Olsen From Blue Line News — But Then He Didn’t Call — And LAPD Apparently Caught On To The Ruse — But I Did At Least Learn The Names Of The Arrested People — And The Location Of The Arrests — All Of Which Turns Out To Be Less Interesting Than The Process — Which Is Just How It Goes Sometimes

About two months ago, on May 7, 2020, the incomparable Lexis-Olivier Ray alerted me to the fact that, from his putatively safe haven in Simi Valley,1 Los Angeles Police Department Commander Timothy Scott Harrelson had just tweeted triumphantly about an LAPD raid on a “luxury apartment” Downtown due to “illegal cannabis sales.”2 But maybe you heard that cannabis is now legal in California? So this is essentially an arrest for tax evasion. Which is not something that ought to be at the top of any law enforcement priority list in the middle of a pandemic, right?3

So I thought I’d look into the circumstances, and how better to do that than using the California Public Records Act?! There’s a problem, though, and that is the sad but true fact that the Los Angeles Police Department has completely stopped responding to my requests.4 When they first stopped I invented a few pseudonyms to make requests under, and this worked for a while.5 But then I started to file lawsuits over some of my pseudonymous requests so they caught on. Soon, I believe, they started tracking my pseudonyms as they identified them6 and then refusing to respond to those requests.

They are pretty prompt when the LA Times makes a request, though, which is part of the reason I think they’re singling out my requests for inaction.7 But this matter seemed important. Not only important enough for a new pseudonym, but for an actual backstory! And given LAPD’s responsiveness to the Times I thought of being a reporter.8 And from a sympathetic-sounding news outlet. And for a more convincing, at least superficially so, email address than the usual randomname3442@gmail.com. So I bought bluelinenews.org, fired up the random name generator and, using its suggestion, Rose Olsen, on May 9, 2020 I filed a CPRA request9 at lacity.nextrequest.com:
Continue reading It Took Me Two Months To Get Even A Minimal Amount Of The Story Behind A May 7 Copaganda Tweet From LAPD Central Division Supreme Commander Timothy Scott Harrelson — With A Public Records Act Request That I Filed Pretending To Be A Reporter At Blue Line News — Which I Made Up And Bought A Domain For To Use For Email — And — Even Though Obvious — The Ploy Worked Briefly In That Commander Harrelson Apparently Told LAPD Discovery Staff That He Was Going To Call Me — Me Being The Made Up Reporter Rose Olsen From Blue Line News — But Then He Didn’t Call — And LAPD Apparently Caught On To The Ruse — But I Did At Least Learn The Names Of The Arrested People — And The Location Of The Arrests — All Of Which Turns Out To Be Less Interesting Than The Process — Which Is Just How It Goes Sometimes

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The Story Of A Request For Emails From LAPD — And All The Ridiculous Reasons They Propounded For Not Producing — And How They Then Produced!

On January 13, 2019 I asked the Los Angeles Police Department for emails between CD13 staffer Dan Halden and any LAPD employee from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018. Yesterday, eight months later, they produced emails from October and November 2018 with the promise of more to come. How we got to this point is the subject of today’s post.1 Here’s what the request said exactly:

Per my rights under the California Public Records Act, please provide all correspondence between anyone who works in the Los Angeles Police Department AND daniel.halden@lacity.org, for the time period of January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018. Correspondence is defined as all emails, texts or other communications.

To be honest, when I made this request in January 2019 I was expecting LAPD to refuse to produce the records on technical grounds,2 And on January 18, 2019 they did exactly that. They gave two separate and mutually contradictory reasons for refusing to produce.

First they told me that “[y[our request does not describe the records sought clearly enough to permit my staff to determine whether any responsive documents exist.” This claim is based on the CPRA at §6253(b), which requires of requests that they “reasonably [describe] an identifiable record or records”. LAPD’s second reason for refusing to produce was that it would be too much work:

A search of email communications and correspondence for “anyone who works in the Department” would be unduly burdensome for the Department as interpreted in the “public interest” provision of section 6255 of the Act, and would require a separate search of each individual email account of approximately 14,400 Department email accounts.

Continue reading The Story Of A Request For Emails From LAPD — And All The Ridiculous Reasons They Propounded For Not Producing — And How They Then Produced!

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Yet Another Possible Strategy For Forcing The City Of Los Angeles To Comply With CPRA Without Hiring A Lawyer: A Complaint With Internal Affairs Against The Officers In Charge Of The LAPD Discovery Section

Dominic Choi, commanding officer of LAPD's Risk Management Division, which includes the LAPD Discovery Section, which is ultimately responsible for handling CPRA requests.
Dominic Choi, commanding officer of LAPD’s Risk Management Division, which includes the LAPD Discovery Section, which is ultimately responsible for handling CPRA requests.
The City of Los Angeles is notorious for ignoring its duties under the California Public Records Act. Among City agencies, the LAPD is probably the worst at responding to requests in a timely, comprehensive manner. One of the worst aspects of CPRA is that filing a lawsuit1 is the only recourse if an agency refuses to comply. This is the strategy being pursued by the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition.2

So anyway, my own CPRA experiences with LAPD confirm this general impression. For instance, on February 10, 2015, I sent them this:

I’d like to request a list of all active stay-away orders for the Hollywood Entertainment District or maybe you could suggest documents I could request that would allow me to assemble such a list myself? I’m interested in how many there are and what crimes were committed by the people subject to them.

I won’t bother you with a detailed timeline of all my ignored follow-up inquiries and their occasional non-responsive answers to them, but in more than 20 months after my making this request they still had supplied no records in response.3

Well, as you may be aware, I’m presently working through a theory on whether Los Angeles Municipal Ethics laws, specifically LAMC 49.5.5(A), can be used to force the City to comply with CPRA without having to go to court. A description of this project can be found here. Now, LAMC 49.5.5(A) states:

City officials, agency employees, appointees awaiting confirmation by the City Council, and candidates for elected City office shall not misuse or attempt to misuse their positions or prospective positions to create or attempt to create a private advantage or disadvantage, financial or otherwise, for any person.

And the general theory with respect to CPRA is that when a City employee willfully denies someone their rights under CPRA they may well be violating this law, since being denied rights is a disadvantage. You can see a a specific application of this theory here. This law does apply to the LAPD, but my feeling is that the LAPD problem with CPRA compliance is not amenable to an LAMC-49.5.5(A)-based strategy. Read on for details and a potential solution.
Continue reading Yet Another Possible Strategy For Forcing The City Of Los Angeles To Comply With CPRA Without Hiring A Lawyer: A Complaint With Internal Affairs Against The Officers In Charge Of The LAPD Discovery Section

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Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala Reads This Blog!!! And Pete Zarcone and Some State Department Anti-Terrorist Hack Engage in Homosocial Bonding by Insulting Bill Farrar!! NO GIRLZ ALLOWD!!

Between them, Girmala and Seyler account for 64% of the hits on this blog!
Between them, Girmala and Seyler account for 64% of the hits on this blog!
This morning our faithful correspondent rode the good old Red Line to the South, to the East, to the Civic Center, to the good old LAPD Discovery Section, where he was privileged to scan maybe a thousand pages of emails between various LAPD luminaries and the BIDs. There’s some serious and important stuff in there, and you’ll be reading about a lot of it here. But there’s also some silly stuff, and we’re breaking out a couple of the goofiest for you here tonight.
Valorie Keegan and Tom LaBonge in 2008, before this blog was even a gleam in Mike's eye... which is why they can afford to laugh!
Valorie Keegan and Tom LaBonge in 2008, before this blog was even a gleam in Mike’s eye… which is why they can afford to laugh!

First we have this little gem, where some lady named Valorie Keegan, who is the current vice chair of the Hollywood Police Advisory Board but beyond that even the Google doesn’t seem to know exactly what she does, emails a link to our humble blog straight to LAPD Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala! And which article is it a link to? It’s this old crowd pleaser about Pete Zarcone and the appearance of corruption at the LAPD. Valorie even admits that our conclusion is true. How’s that for validation from the top?! Chief Bea didn’t seem to have much to say back to Valorie, but if you look at the detailed summary at the top of the email, you’ll see that Chief Bea forwarded the email to someone. Our next task? Find out who! Maybe our readership isn’t 92% Kerry Morrison and her lawyers. Maybe we’re a big hit over at 100 W. First Street as well!

And then there’s this meaty little slab of boys-will-be-boys. It seems that a girl made it into the State Department, despite the large handpainted “NO GURLZ ALLOWD” sign nailed to the bottom of the tree. She emailed Captain Pete and a bunch of other boyz thusly:
Continue reading Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala Reads This Blog!!! And Pete Zarcone and Some State Department Anti-Terrorist Hack Engage in Homosocial Bonding by Insulting Bill Farrar!! NO GIRLZ ALLOWD!!

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Why Aren’t BID Security Patrols Registered with the Los Angeles Police Commission?

Any badge, insignia, patch or uniform used or worn by any employee, officer, member or associate of a private patrol service, while on duty for said patrol service, shall be in compliance with State law.  Any such badge, insignia, patch or uniform shall not be of such a design as to be mistaken for an official badge, insignia or uniform worn by a law enforcement officer of the City of Los Angeles or any other law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the City. LAMC 52.34(d)(1)
Any badge, insignia, patch or uniform used or worn by any employee, officer, member or associate of a private patrol service, while on duty for said patrol service, shall be in compliance with State law. Any such badge, insignia, patch or uniform shall not be of such a design as to be mistaken for an official badge, insignia or uniform worn by a law enforcement officer of the City of Los Angeles or any other law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in the City. LAMC 52.34(d)(1)
Recently I was reading the Los Angeles Municipal Code1 and came across LAMC 52.34, which discusses “private patrol services” and their employees, “street patrol officers.” The gist of it seems to be2 that private patrol service operators must register with the Police Commission, and also prove that their employees’ uniforms and badges don’t look too much like real police uniforms and badges. They’re also required to have a complaint process and submit lists of employees and some other things too.

Well, as you can see from the photo above, and from innumerable other photos and videos I’ve obtained from the Hollywood BID Patrol, there is a real problem with BID Patrol officers looking like LAPD. Their uniforms are the same color, their badges are the same shape and color, and so on. Also, they’re famous for not having a complaint process, or at least not one that anyone can discover easily. The Andrews International BID Patrol isn’t the only one with this problem, either. The Media District‘s security vendor, Universal Protection Service, doesn’t seem to have one either. In fact, it was UPS Captain John Irigoyen‘s refusal to accept a complaint about two of his officers that inspired the establishment of this blog. The A/I BID Patrol is as guilty of this lapse as anyone.

Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the LA Police Commission.
Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the LA Police Commission.

The fact that private patrol operators were required to file actual documents with a city agency means that copies would be available! So I fired off some public records requests to Richard Tefank, Executive Director of the Police Commission. He answered right away and told me they’d get right on it. What a relief to discover that Police Commission CPRA requests don’t have to go through the LAPD Discovery Section, which is so notoriously slow to respond that the City of LA has had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in court-imposed fines due to their tardiness. Mr. Tefank handed me off to an officer in the permits section, and he told me that none of the three BID security contractors I asked about; Andrews International, Universal Protection, and Streetplus3 were registered. How could this be, I wondered, given what seems like the plain language of the statute? The story turns out to be immensely complicated, and with lots of new documents.
Continue reading Why Aren’t BID Security Patrols Registered with the Los Angeles Police Commission?

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Documents Filed Just Now in LA CAN/LACW Suit Against City of LA, CCEA, Ask for Award of $46,568 in Costs and Entrance of Long List of Damning Facts as True

California-centralI reported a couple weeks ago about the hearing on plaintiffs’ motion to hold the City of LA in contempt for failing to produce discovery documents. The order scheduling the hearing also required the plaintiffs to submit pleadings today outlining the status of the discovery requests and also detailing how much in fees and costs they were asking for. Those documents were filed tonight around 6:30 p.m. and I have them for you here:

Shayla Myers’s declaration has multiple goodies in the exhibits, including a full transcript of the deposition of LAPD Information Technologist LeShon Frierson, in which he revealed for the first time in February that the LAPD does in fact use an email archiving product called GWAVA Retain, which, notably, allows keyword searches across mailboxes, something which the City had wrongly denied was possible. I speculated about this issue in December 2015, so it was a treat to find out that they had this capability, and it’s a treat now to read the actual words of LeShon Frierson describing the software and how it’s used. There are beaucoup emails in there too between Myers and Ronald Whitaker, who’s representing the City. It’s fascinating if, like me, you just can’t resist reading other people’s correspondence.
Continue reading Documents Filed Just Now in LA CAN/LACW Suit Against City of LA, CCEA, Ask for Award of $46,568 in Costs and Entrance of Long List of Damning Facts as True

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Late Night Declaration Filed by Ronald Whitaker Opposing Plaintiffs’ Application for Contempt and Sanctions in LACAN/LACW v. City, CCEA

California-centralEarlier today the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the homeless property case, Shayla Myers and Catherine Sweetser, filed a massive application for contempt and sanctions against defendant City of Los Angeles due to their (alleged but totally plausible) recalcitrance in complying with the discovery process. Just now Deputy City Attorney Ronald Whitaker filed a declaration in opposition to this application. There’s nothing that new here, although it’s interesting to see that the City is sticking to its largely discredited claim that

in order to search emails, they need the email addresses of each individual LAPD officer. With the help of our investigator, we have tried to identify each of the individual police officers, of which there are over 400, assigned to the Central Division within the relevant timeframe. The LAPD’s IT department requires us to manually match up each officer name with their serial number, as that is how officers are identified in their email addresses. That process is and has been ongoing.

Continue reading Late Night Declaration Filed by Ronald Whitaker Opposing Plaintiffs’ Application for Contempt and Sanctions in LACAN/LACW v. City, CCEA

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