ACLU: Court erred in keeping bad deputies under wraps
The deputies' union, Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, fought hard to keep identities of bad deputies under wraps
Court of Appeal blocks release of bad deputies list; American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California urges supervisors, sheriff to appeal ruling to the California Supreme Court
By HECTOR VILLAGRA
Recently, a California court of appeal told Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell that he cannot give the district attorney a list of 300 deputies that have histories of lying, stealing, evidence tampering, and other proven acts of misconduct that place their honesty in question. Los Angeles County Sheriff McDonnell wanted to turn these names over to the district attorney so that criminal defendants would know if the witnesses against them had histories of dishonesty — a disclosure the U.S. Constitution requires.
Don’t let crooked cops hide their history of misconduct.
The deputies’ union, Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS), fought hard to keep the identities of these bad deputies under wraps. The Court of Appeal sided with ALADS and blocked McDonnell from turning over these names, in a decision that could prevent law enforcement agencies across the state from disclosing dishonest officers.
The Court was wrong, and the County should not let their decision be the final word.
It is up to the Board of Supervisors and Sheriff McDonnell to keep fighting against ALADS by appealing this ruling to the California Supreme Court. Urge the Board to do what is right: ensure that Californians accused of crimes get access to the evidence the Constitution demands, and that bad deputies don’t get to hide their histories of lying.
The County only has until Aug. 21, to file a petition asking the Supreme Court to review this ruling. Sign the petition now to make sure that the County doesn’t stop fighting until the California Supreme Court has weighed in on this crucial issue.
Hector Villagra is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
READ ALSO: ACLU files brief supporting L.A. Sheriff’s disclosure of problem deputies