The Los Angeles Police Protective League filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of three officers against an anti-police website that they claim put a “bounty” on the officers’ heads after posting photos and other personal information on city cops released in a public records request, according to a report.
The recent release of more than 9,300 LAPD officers’ information has caused a furor within the department after it was requested by police abolitionist group called Stop LAPD Spying Coalition. It also mistakenly included the names of undercover officers.
“I deeply regret that this mistake happened,” Police Chief Michel Moore told FOX 11 last week. “I understand personally, given my own death threats and on matters of me as a public figure and my family has endured as a chief and even before that, how troubling this can be to a member of this organization, and even more so to those that are involved in sensitive and or confidential investigations.”
He added, “We have people who have taken the list and are now criminally, we believe, making threats against the safety of officers, calling for a bounty and awarding a bounty for individuals who would go out and kill a cop.”
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Officers Adam Gross, Adrian Rodriguez and Douglas Panameno, none of whom are undercover, have named Steven Sutcliffe, owner of killercop.com, in the lawsuit, requesting that the photos be removed from the website, according to the Los Angeles Times.
This is the first litigation connected to the release, the newspaper reported.
Sutcliffe also has a Twitter handle @killercop1984, according to the lawsuit, on which he allegedly posted on March 20, “Remember, #Rewards are double all year for #detectives and #female cops,” alongside an image quoting the General Counsel at Los Angeles Police Protective League saying killercop.com was offering $1,000 and $2,000 to anyone who killed an officer, according to court documents, the Times reported.
The same Twitter handle linked to a database of the officers’ headshots in another tweet writing, “Clean head-shots on these #LAPD officers. A to Z.”
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“The posts, the nature of the posts, they’re not just intimidation,” Moore said, according to the New York Post. “They’re threatening, and they may constitute a crime. This is one of those things that I worried about and feared when we released these photographs ostensibly to be transparent, that others were going to use them to threaten our officers.”
LAPD Detective Jamie McBride called the release of the information “reckless” in an interview with FOX 11.
“I’ve been notified by a few officers already saying that they’re looking at other departments now before they get too much time invested here with the Los Angeles Police Department because they don’t feel that this department has their best interests at heart,” he said, adding that the Los Angeles Police Protective League has filed a complaint against Moore.
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Moore told FOX 11, “We’ve invited the FBI, as well as the district attorney, and we’re going to pursue people who have taken information that was released, some of it in regards that it shouldn’t have been released. But they’re calling right now for these acts of violence are not against individuals that are in any sense of assignments. They’re just calling it out against any officer’s photograph at all.”
Sutcliffe told the Post his “free speech” was being infringed upon with the lawsuit.
“It’s malicious. It’s retaliatory. It is vindictive and frivolous. Their motion is filled with lies,” he claimed.
Sutcliffe and Moore for comment did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital.