LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A group of Los Angeles Police Department officers, and the union representing them, filed a lawsuit Friday against the owner of a website that lists bounties for the killing of police officers, demanding that it be taken down immediately.
"Late last week, the LAPD mistakenly released the pictures, names and work locations of 9,000 officers through California Public Records Act requests, including those who work in sensitive assigned and undercover operations," according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
"As a result of the LAPD's negligence in releasing the pictures, names and work locations of officers, even those working in undercover operations, the owner of the `killer cops' website was able to download this sensitive information, post it online and place a bounty to be paid to anyone who kills a Los Angeles police officer," said Craig Lally, president of the LAPPL.
"This dangerous and abhorrent threat has further endangered every police officer, as well as their families, and we will be asking a judge to immediately intervene to protect our members," Lally said.
Attorneys for the LAPPL also served a cease-and-desist notice on Twitter and Google seeking the immediate removal of the "killer cop" website from the platforms.
"We certainly hope that Twitter and Google act with a sense of urgency to remove this threatening domestic terrorism site," Robert Rico, general counsel of the LAPPL, said in a statement. "The colossal blunder perpetuated by the LAPD in releasing this sensitive information must be met with a zero-tolerance approach by these two social media companies, which should include a lifetime ban of the owner of this site."
During the Los Angeles Police Commission meeting Tuesday, board president William Briggs expressed frustration and concern over how information related to LAPD officers was released to a watchdog organization and eventually published online.
The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition filed a public records lawsuit against the city, challenging what it called the LAPD's refusal to release basic personnel information. The coalition also launched Watch the Watchers, a website that publishes head shots and other information related to sworn personnel.
On its website, the coalition says the records were obtained "from public records released by city agencies."
Tom Saggau, spokesman for LAPPL, said the lawsuit filed by the union is not against the coalition, but the owner of the "killer cop" website.
Briggs said Tuesday the release of information about officers was done in reckless disregard for the safety of officers and their families. Police Chief Michel Moore said the Office of Inspector General has begun an investigation into the matter.
The LAPPL also filed an internal affairs misconduct complaint against Moore, and other LAPD and city personnel involved in the release of police officers' information.