Revealed: LAPD officers told to collect social media data on every civilian they stop

An internal police chief memo shows employees were directed to use ‘field interview cards’ which would then be reviewed


Guardian: The Los Angeles police department (LAPD) has directed its officers to collect the social media information of every civilian they interview, including individuals who are not arrested or accused of a crime, according to records shared with the Guardian.

A lawsuit charges that the Rodeo Drive task force has been stopping and arresting Black people without cause.
Beverly Hills: 99% of people arrested by ‘safe streets’ unit were Black, suit says
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Copies of the “field interview cards” that police complete when they question civilians reveal that LAPD officers are instructed to record a civilian’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts, alongside basic biographical information. An internal memo further shows that the police chief, Michel Moore, told employees that it was critical to collect the data for use in “investigations, arrests, and prosecutions”, and warned that supervisors would review cards to ensure they were complete.

The documents, which were obtained by the not-for-profit organization the Brennan Center for Justice, have raised concerns about civil liberties and the potential for mass surveillance of civilians without justification.

“There are real dangers about police having all of this social media identifying information at their fingertips,” said Rachel Levinson-Waldman, a deputy director at the Brennan Center, noting that the information was probably stored in a database that could be used for a wide range of purposes.

The Brennan Center conducted a review of 40 other police agencies in the US and was unable to find another department that required social media collection on interview cards (though many have not publicly disclosed copies of the cards). The organization also obtained records about the LAPD’s social media surveillance technologies, which have raised questions about the monitoring of activist groups including Black Lives Matter.  Read more…


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  1. Two hot trends in LA police. One is to operate emergency communications out of public access on “coded” channels. This is to prevent people like journalists from hearing calls, and responding to scenes. Another is basically stop and frisk. Any car full of young black men or women, is pulled over for any imaginable reason, the goal being to collect everything, search the car and passengers, and as it says here, the social media. Many times, while the car is searched, they will stuff 4-6 occupants in the back of a single cop car handcuffed where they wait until they are released uncharged,, (often more than an hour) this even if multiple cars are on the scene. One of the best journalists is Tom Zebra. he is out there constantly on bicycle with camera. The constant use of helicopters is also incredible. It seems helo’s get dispatched for almost anything. And remember the suspicious number of high money drug busts that went on during the covid shutdown. They swooped in to grab, and knew where it all was. the police are officially in the drug business in LA. What a mess.

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