Melanie Ochoa


Director of Police Practices





Melanie Penny Ochoa is director of police practices at the ACLU of Southern California.

Melanie joined the ACLU in October 2016 as an attorney focused on challenging the City of Los Angeles's use of restrictive gang injunctions without due process, the use of surveillance technology including body cameras and drones by local policing agencies, and issues around police discipline. She has also worked on state-wide legislation and implementation of existing legislation around gang databases and the collection of data on police stops.

Prior to coming to the ACLU, she worked as a clerk on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Stephen Reinhardt, and in private practice as a litigation associate for the law firm O’Melveny and Myers. Melanie obtained her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University in 2011 and her JD from Harvard Law School in 2010, where she also served as a notes editor on Harvard Law Review.