City Attorney Backs Down On Conditional Release of IACP Report

By: 
Stephen Downing

On July 17 the Beachcomber broke the news that the Long Beach city attorney had compromised the city manager’s July 7 memo to the mayor and council members that the city would be “fully transparent” and ask the federal court to lift a protective order on the 126-page study of LBPD operations made by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). https://beachcomber.news/content/city-attorney-evades-full-transparency-iacp-report

Instead of being “fully transparent,” the city attorney proposed a stipulation that would only “partially vacate” the court’s protective order.

The stipulation evaded full transparency by making the release “subject to redactions made by the city related to confidential and privileged information including operational readiness and staffing levels that are protected by the official information and/or law enforcement privileges…”

The Beachcomber also reported that one of the two attorneys involved in the litigation, Narine Mkrtchyan (representing Christopher Williams in an excessive force civil rights lawsuit against the city) stated, “I will not agree to any redactions unless I see them first.”

Today all of that changed.

Attorneys representing the city forwarded a 2nd proposed stipulation by email to the involved attorneys stating, “Attached please find a revised draft of the stipulation, which now vacates the protective order regarding the IACP report…. If acceptable, please authorize your e-signature for filing.”

The revised stipulation has no provision that will allow the city to make any redactions prior to its public release.

Thomas Beck, the attorney representing the Beachcomber in a lawsuit related to the city’s refusal to release the excessive use of force investigation related to the Williams case (as well as one related to massive overtime fraud) said, “once this protective order is vacated by the court, the attorneys are free to disseminate (the IACP report) to anyone they please as well as continue to use it in their lawsuit, subject to evidentiary objections the city may make.”

William’s attorney, Narine Mkrtchyan, told the Beachcomber, “I have signed the stipulation. Once it is approved by the court, I will forward you the report.”

Requests for comment made to the city attorney, the city manager and the IACP attorney were not returned prior to publication.

This developing story will be updated as more information is obtained or when the federal court acts upon an agreed upon stipulation to lift the protective order.

Beachcomber articles that reveal the history of the IACP contract and the city’s actions to prevent public release of the report can be found at the following links:

https://beachcomber.news/content/international-association-assessing-police-dept

https://beachcomber.news/content/are-protests-and-movement-recall-mayor-garcia-cracking-city-hall-transparency

https://beachcomber.news/content/what-are-cops-city-manager-and-city-attorney-hiding

On July 16 investigative reporter Kevin Flores wrote an in-depth article for FORTHE titled: Long Beach Confidential: Assessment of Police Department Kept Under Wraps Since 2018 Could Soon Be Made Public. It is linked here with permission. https://forthe.org/journalism/iacp-lbpd-assessment/

Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police.
stephen.beachcomber@gmail.com.

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