City of Inglewood to destroy police records instead of making them public

Civil rights and transparency activists are troubled by one California city's plans to destroy more than 100 police shooting and other investigation records weeks before a new state law could allow the public access to them.

The Inglewood City Council earlier this month approved the action ahead of the Jan. 1 implementation of Senate Bill 1421, which will make public investigations of officer shootings, use of major force and confirmed cases of sexual assault and lying while on duty, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"The legislature passed SB 1421 because communities demanded an end to the secrecy cloaking police misconduct and use of force," Marcus Benigno, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said in a statement to the Times. "Inglewood PD's decision to purge records undermines police accountability and transparency against the will of Californians."

Under the law, California police departments must retain records of officer-involved shootings and misconduct for a five-year period.

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