A state appeals court ruling has blocked the L.A. County Sheriff's Department plan to warn local prosecutors about deputies who were caught lying, stealing, or using unnecessary force.
The opinion published Tuesday says police misconduct records must be kept secret from prosecutors and the public -- unless a specific officer or deputy is called to testify.
The court says disclosure limits and procedures are well established in federal and state rulings from higher courts.
“It is our obligation to follow precedent, whether or not we agree with it; we have no authority, as an intermediate appellate court, to ignore precedent, jump ahead of our Supreme Court, and create new law,” the opinion says.
KFI NEWS reported last fall the Sheriff’s Department had assembled a list of deputies with certain histories of misconduct and planned to share the deputies’ names and serial numbers with the L.A. County District Attorneys Office.
Hundreds of deputies were sent letters warning them inclusion on the list could lead to a loss of a privileged assignment, as their abilities to testify as a witnesses in court would be compromised by their backgrounds.
The deputies’ union, ALADS, filed the legal challenge that led to the ruling.
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