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Who can get access to police files in California?
Who can get access to police files in California?

In California, police officers have a right to keep their personnel files confidential. At the same time, all criminal prosecutors are constitutionally bound to disclose to the defendant any evidence that's reasonably likely to affect a conviction or punishment. So: What if the defendant believes that such evidence is located in the arresting officers' personnel files? Who has the right and duty to look through those records? In many police departments, the task is performed by the police themselves. Defense lawyers quite reasonably object that police officials have an inherent conflict of interest in choosing which information in their officers' files to flag. The...

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