California Police Officers Abuse State Databases With Impunity


Law enforcement agencies in California set new records in 2016 for the misuse of statewide records databases despite lax reporting requirements for database abuse cases and little independent investigative oversight of such privacy violations.

New data on official misuse of the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) – which gives policing agencies access to a variety of statewide and federal records – show that 2016 was a banner year for police discipline associated with CLETS abuse, according to an analysis by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

A total of 159 investigations of CLETS misuse occurred in 2016, a 14.5 percent increase from 2015 and a 50 percent jump from 2011. Of the 2016 total, 117 investigations ended in conclusions that police had abused the system. Nearly 40 more cases were listed as pending without final conclusion.

Offending officers either resigned or were fired in 27 cases, three cases yielded a felony conviction, while another three resulted in misdemeanor convictions.

Officers were not punished in 24 of the confirmed cases. Offenders in 28 cases only received “counseling” while officers in 21 other cases were punished in ways only classified as “other,” the EFF said.

In addition, with 17 cases of confirmed abuse, the Oakland Police Department set a new one-year record in 2016 for most CLETS-related discipline of officers or staff within an individual policing agency, the EFF reported.

The EFF pointed out that the CLETS has been abused by officers in the past to stalk ex-partners and leak records on witnesses to the family of a convicted murderer, among other cases.

For the full article please follow the link below:


If you haven't already, be sure to like our Filming Cops Page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Please visit our sister site Smokers ONLY

Sign Up To Receive Your Free E-Book
‘Advanced Strategies On Filming Police’

About author

Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

You might also like