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Judge orders California attorney general to release pre-2019 police misconduct files

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 13, 2018: New Los Angeles Police Officer Teresa Altamirano, center, durin
Several police unions across California have gone to court to try to restrict some documents from being released under a landmark transparency law.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A San Francisco judge has ordered California’s attorney general to release police misconduct records predating Jan. 1, when new transparency legislation took effect.

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard B. Ulmer Jr. on Friday also rejected arguments by Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra that his office should not have to release records of local law enforcement.

The tentative ruling was a win for the First Amendment Coalition and National Public Radio member KQED-FM, which sued Becerra’s office for records under the legislation.

SB1421 was designed to guarantee public access to records involving investigations into officer shootings, use-of-force incidents and incidents involving officer misconduct.

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In response, Becerra’s office said Friday it would release records from before 2019 but only those regarding Department of Justice officers.


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