What secret files on police officers tell us about law enforcement misconduct

March 19, 2021

State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), the author of the disclosure law, proposed follow-up legislation last year that would allow a court to impose fines of $1,000 per day if a police department does not release documents within 30 days and the person seeking the records files a lawsuit. Had that provision been included when the law went into effect, the Sheriff’s Department could have faced more than half a million dollars in fines for its handling of The Times’ request.

“We know they wouldn’t have dragged their feet on it,” Skinner said in reference to the Sheriff’s Department. “The purpose of that is to avoid circumstances like L.A. Times and others have experienced where departments have waited two years to respond to requests. That absolutely does not follow the intent of the original law.”


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