FOP to File Class-Action Grievance Over Release of Officers’ Identity . . .
The Fraternal Order of Police notified the city’s police oversight agency Friday of the Lodge’s intention to file a class-action grievance over the practice of releasing officers’ personal information.
In a letter to Ms. Sydney Roberts, the chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), President Graham also requested that COPA cease and desist releasing the information pending resolution of the grievance.
“The FOP also requeststhat COPA immediately cease and desist from posting the identities of Police Officers on its website prior to the conclusion of an investigation and where discipline has not been imposed. Specifically, the FOP requests that COPA remove the identities of the Police Officers whose information is being posted to the website (and any videos posted on the internet, including on Vimeo) by blurring their faces and star numbers, as well as removing all written reports posted to the website and the internet, should there be any reports posted to another website other than COPA’s website,” President Graham said in a letter.
The class-action grievance, which was the brainchild of Field Rep Bob Bartlett working with FOP attorneys, addresses COPA’s practice of publishing videos of incidents along with case reports and tactics response reports (TRR). Those reports reveal who exercised the use of force and is under investigation, according to Bartlett and Graham. This practice violates contractual rights to confidentiality, they argued.
“COPA violates its own confidentiality policy by agreeing to produce part of the investigatory files and reports when it posts the videos, case incident reports, and tactical response reports on the internet and its case portal — and it needs to stop,” Graham said.