The following statement can be attributed to Catherine Lhamon, Racial Justice Director for the ACLU of Southern California:
'The ACLU of Southern California applauds the Police Commission's recommendation to waive the attorney client privilege attached to the City Attorney's legal opinion regarding the legality of releasing names of officers involved in shootings together with the Los Angeles Police Department Chief's reports to the Police Commission regarding investigations of officer-involved shootings.
We hope that the City Council will vote to waive the privilege so the public can understand what led to the Police Commission's revocation of its 25-year practice of providing full public accountability for officer-involved shootings.
More important, we hope the Police Commission will, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, when it reconsiders the question whether to release officers' names as part of its summary reports, return to its longstanding practice of providing sunlight on its practices.
The Police Commission's current decision to redact officer names from summary reports utterly fails to accomplish its purported goal because the Los Angeles Police Department continues to release officers' names at the time officer-involved shootings take place--and so the redaction does not shield from the public officers' names. But the Police Commission's decision to redact officers' names in summary reports does diminish public confidence in their police department--and that does immeasurable damage in a city that is infamous for decades of police scandal but that has begun the slow process of digging out from under that infamy under the leadership of a Police Chief who states publicly a commitment to reform.
We hope and expect that the Police Commission will redirect its practices toward that reform and restore to the public their confidence in the transparency of their police activities.'