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Los Angeles Police Commission Makes a Mockery of Community Concerns

On Tuesday August 28th, 2012, contrary to overwhelming opposition to Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) surveillance policies, the Los Angeles Police Commission approved LAPD’s continuing programs to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) on Angelenos based on speculation and hunches.

Dozens of Stop LAPD Spying coalition members were present in force on August 28th speaking out at the press conference and the commission meeting against revisions to LAPD Special Order 1 and demanding that SO 1 be rescinded in its entirety. Showing total deference to LAPD, the commission failed in its obligation to weigh community concerns and pay heed to the negative impact of such policies on the people of Los Angeles ranging from criminalization of innocent behavior to privacy and civil rights violation. Many thanks to everyone for being there! At one point several community members were prevented from attending the meeting due to allegedly the commission room being full to capacity.

This version of SO 1 was the third revision of LAPD’s Suspicious Activity Reporting since its inception in March 2008. While LAPD garnished the policy by adding language addressing constitutional protections, SO 1 remains flawed in its basic premise – criminalization of innocent behavior, spreads fear and suspicion, and promotes racial and religious profiling. Veiled in the language of “National Security,” SO 1 is a front and threat to our basic human right. SO 1 not only criminalizes our natural impulse to record a moment on video, take a photo to share with loved ones or draw on paper a graph of our favorite building, a bridge or any other landmark, it also violates basic principles of our privacy and civil liberties.

The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition is committed to expose, discredit, dismantle and neutralize any government sanctioned surveillance and spying in all its multiple forms.