The effort to unearth police misconduct records

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A police car in Burbank, California. Photo by Amy Ta.

When cops behave badly (plant evidence, write false reports, collude with criminals), or when they use significant or deadly force, it’s up to other police officers to investigate. For decades in California, the results of those investigations have been closed to the public.

But last year, California implemented a new police transparency law. Senate Bill 1421-- The Right to Know Act -- requires police departments to make these records available to the public, upon request.

After that law passed, dozens of news agencies in the state, including KCRW, got together to obtain and report on police misconduct records.

Public TV station KCET is part of that group. It will be airing a report on the results of the group’s work at 8 PM tonight on its show “SoCal Connected.”


OC Register reporter Tony Saavedra has made nearly 200 requests from law enforcement agencies seeking police misconduct files. Courtesy of Karen Foshay. 


Filming for an upcoming episode on police misconduct files. Courtesy of Karen Foshay.