Big and little lies told by law enforcement, as revealed by new transparency law

When it includes falsehoods told by law enforcement officers, the slope is an awfully slippery one between telling “little white lies” and individuals who end up endangering most of the people officers are sworn to protect.

So when Southern California News Group investigative reporters Tony Saavedra and Ian Wheeler wrote last week about their exploration of police recordsdata unearthed beneath a new law, Senate Bill 1421, requiring misconduct knowledge be made public, they told readers just a few bunch of sometimes oddball ethical lapses — and well-known the new tips “also show that officers sometimes tell big, case-affecting lies as well.”

Sure, it was nearly touching, the way in which by which a Santa Monica officer who had helped rescue a canine later wanted to undertake it — and so claimed it was for a daughter he didn’t happen to have in an effort to get to the best of the itemizing.

Almost. Because it doesn’t take a shrink to tell us that people who get inside the habits of telling small untruths for personal obtain can merely graduate to larger lies. And, certain, society is true to hold its law enforcement personnel to the subsequent regular. The rule of law relies upon upon it.

That’s why we’re heartened to hearken to that the Santa Monica officer was fired with this reprimand from his chief: “You lied about a material fact concerning police related business in order to provide an immediate benefit to yourself.”

And, as with civilians, the reporting displays that officers’ lies are inclined to snowball into bigger ones. One La Habra cop claimed he was hospitalized after being hit by a non-public watercraft whereas looking — possibly, he speculated, centered by drug runners. So his partner was nervous when he went missing sooner or later. Turns out he was merely on the seashore with a girlfriend. And he’d by no means been hospitalized the least bit.

The reporting is simply the beginning. Our data group has teamed with 38 completely different media organizations all through the state as part of the California Reporting Project, which is working to retrieve police knowledge beneath SB1421 in circumstances of dishonesty, sexual misconduct, officer-involved shootings and completely different makes use of of drive.

Public knowledge requests have been made to simply about 700 law enforcement companies in California. The public’s correct to know is strictly why we supported every the new law and the important interpretation that it is retroactive.

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