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Fight Over Police Records Heats Up

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Sonora, CA – The California attorney general’s office is asking a state appeals court to refrain from ordering it to review and publicly release a massive inventory of records documenting investigations into police shootings, use-of-force incidents and officer misconduct.

Lawyers for Attorney General Xavier Becerra argue a transparency law that took effect this year never intended for his office to commit the extraordinary resources needed to vet so many records. They are seeking to reverse a lower court’s order to turn over the records to news organizations that sued his office.

“It would grind to a halt so many of the other things we have to do if all of a sudden we have to redirect our resources away from law enforcement and public safety to do data assessment and release of information that other agencies already are doing,” Becerra told reporters in Sacramento earlier this week.

The lawyer for news organizations said the public’s right to know outweighs any inconvenience for the attorney general.

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