California Supreme Court Turns Away Attempt to Keep Police Misconduct Records Sealed

It’s happening, Californians! We are finally, truly, actually—after decades of state-enforced, police-union-manipulated secrecy—going to start getting access to some records related to misconduct by law enforcement officers.

On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to a new law implemented at the start of the year unsealing and allowing public and media access to certain types of records related to police conduct. The law is intended to end years of secrecy that have made it impossible for the public to find out when a police officer had been found to engage in misconduct on the job. The secrecy was so strong that even prosecutors and defense attorneys struggled to find out about any past behavior by an officer that might compromise a criminal case.