Cops Want More Privacy Than You Get: L.A. City Council Today Supports That Unanimously
Cops don't want you to know where they live. But they get to find out where you do, how old you are, and any history of interaction they've had with you.
In response to a hacker group's posting of LAPD officers' personal information, a state assemblyman has proposed a law that would keep cops' property records (and thus addresses private). And now ...
... the spineless L.A. City Council has followed suit with a resolution supporting the bill by Assemblyman Mike Feuer.
The resolution by city Councilman Dennis Zine, a reserve LAPD officer, won unanimous support. Feuer's bill would allow county assessors to remove the names of cops from property records so you couldn't look them up via public records.
Sounds good in theory, but say you're a reporter looking into alleged misconduct by an officer (which never happens) and you want to knock on his door to give him a chance to respond. You're out of luck (unless, of course, you're a very resourceful reporter).
Property records are public and, as yet, there's no class system that gives certain folks an out (same goes for voter registration).
But cops are concerned after a hacker crew with the Twitter handle of @CabinCr3w revealed personal information of about two dozen LAPD officers in December: The group was unhappy with the LAPD's raid of the Occupy L.A. camp in November.
Cops, who can get your home address in seconds via your license plate or drivers license, already have the luxury of having their addresses scrubbed from DMV records.
Supporters of the proposed state law say it would protect officers from the likes of criminals they put away.
Understandable. But it's also understandable that we'd all like our information kept private. Maybe Feuer should amend his bill to say that we all should have our personal addresses kept private except when judges approve warrants to unseal it. Why does a cop need to know exactly where you live anyway? A computer can send the ticket.
At least Feuer, who's running for L.A. City Attorney, can add to his bill an exclusion for journalistic access to officers' data. Eh? (And keep in mind, anyone who runs for office around here shall beg for the endorsement of the powerful L.A. police union).
This bill would never pass a court challenge anyway. Either it's public information or it isn't.
The idea that guys with uniforms and guns should have it different under the law is positively Soviet.