Threats pouring in after LAPD undercover officers' info released; Chief Moore admits mistake

There is a reason many police officers don't like to have their names or pictures out in a public forum, and it's not because they're trying to hide anything, it's simply because they want to protect themselves and their families.

"We made a mistake. We made a big mistake," Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore told FOX 11 in an exclusive interview.

Moore admits the department failed the rank when the department released private information as part of a California public records request. The order was for the LAPD to release the names, badge numbers, and photos of more than 9,000 officers, except for those assigned to specialized units. But when the department gave the list to the person who requested the names, a citizen journalist, it also included the information of undercover officers. 

"I deeply regret that this mistake happened. 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," said Moore.

Now, some anti-police websites are putting a target on LAPD officers. 

RELATED: LA police commissioner frustrated over publication of officer data

"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," explained Moore.

You may be wondering why the LAPD would release the names and photos of all the officers. It turns out, the department was forced to do so through the California Public Records Act, but they weren't supposed to release the names of undercover officers.

"Two things that we've messed up on. One, we should have told our people when we reached a settlement and we should have torn the basis for it," said Moore. "Secondly, when we provided the list, we made a mistake in that we did not identify all the individuals in the organization who were involved in sensitive undercover investigations that should have been kept from them."

"This is serious," said LAPD Detective Jamie McBride. "This is not a mistake. This is reckless."

McBride says the Los Angeles Police Protective League has filed a complaint against Chief Moore and a police administrator for the release of that information. The league is also demanding Twitter and Google take down the sites, threatening police officers.

"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," said McBride.

"I'll stand by what I've said. I have no reason to lie. I believe when you when we mess up, we need to own it," said Moore.

The Office of Inspector General is now investigating the LAPD on exactly what went wrong. Meanwhile, Chief Moore is looking at the possibility of criminally charging anyone threatening police officers.

"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," said Moore. "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."

FOX 11 has heard from LAPD officers who are saying that they are considering suing the department for, "putting our lives at risk."

Twitter has since suspended the account in response to a request from the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

"We are appreciative of Twitter acting swiftly to take down this dangerous site that called for the murder of Los Angeles police officers," said Craig Lally, President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.  "This was not about freedom of speech or public discourse, this was about protecting officers and their families and for that we are grateful that this site is suspended."