The Los Angeles police chief and the department’s constitutional policing director are under investigation after the names and photographs of undercover officers were released to a technology watchdog group that posted them online, the Los Angeles Times reported.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore offered his “deep apologies” to the undercover officers, who were not given advance notice of the disclosure, during a police commission meeting Tuesday.
The technology watchdog group Stop LAPD Spying Coalition posted more than 9,300 officers’ information and photographs Friday in a searchable online database following a public records request by a citizen journalist, the Times reported. It was not immediately clear how many of those were undercover.
The coalition opposes police intelligence-gathering and says the database should be used for “countersurveillance.”
“You can use it to identify officers who are causing harm in your community” the group wrote. “Police have vast information about all of us at their fingertips, yet they move in secrecy.”
The department’s release of the undercover officers’ names and photographs was inadvertent, the Times reported, even though the city attorney’s office determined the agency was legally required to turn them over under California’s public records law.
“We will look to what steps or added steps can be taken to safeguard the personal identifiers of our membership,” Moore said Tuesday.
The department’s inspector general launched the investigation into Moore and constitutional policing director Liz Rhodes after the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, filed a misconduct complaint against them Monday.