Safety fears for undercover police officers after names and photos are posted online

US News

Details of undercover police officers have been published online by a technology watchdog group in a move that has sparked safety fears.

The officers are among more than 9,300 law enforcement workers whose details were handed to the group Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, which then posted them online in a searchable database.

The database includes each officer’s name, ethnicity, rank, date of hire, badge number and division or bureau.

It is not clear how many of the officers were undercover.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore offered his “deep apologies” to the undercover officers, who were not told in advance of the disclosure.

“We will look to what steps or added steps can be taken to safeguard the personal identifiers of our membership,” he added.

Ben Camacho, a reporter for The Knock LA, said he filed a request for the records as well as a lawsuit last year to get the photos.

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The city attorney’s office said the agency was legally required to turn over the records under California law, although exemptions are often made for safety or investigative reasons.

‘Police have vast information about all of us, yet they move in secrecy’

But Mr Camacho said on Twitter that the police department had not previously raised the issue of officer safety in arguing against the release of the information.

The searchable database of the officers’ details was revealed late last week by Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, which said it should be used for “counter-surveillance”.

The organisation added: “You can use it to identify officers who are causing harm in your community.

“Police have vast information about all of us at their fingertips, yet they move in secrecy.”

Details published for ‘public education and community awareness’

Stop LAPD Spying Coalition organiser Hamid Khan told Fox News that all of the information on the officers were “public records”, adding that the group had published it “in service of public education and community awareness”.

Officers’ home addresses are not on the website, it was reported.

Concerns for safety of officers working in “sensitive assignments’

Meanwhile, an investigation has been launched into Mr Moore and constitutional policing director Liz Rhodes after the Los Angeles Police Protective League – the union that represents officers – filed a misconduct complaint against them over the incident.

In a statement on their website, the league said that the disclosure “will endanger police officers – especially those working in sensitive assignments”.

It said that it would work to ensure those officers “are accorded the appropriate security to keep them and their families safe”, adding: “The league is rapidly evaluating with both internal and external legal counsel any judicial remedy to this egregious affront to our members’ safety”.

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