In a move to promote further access to information relating to police misconduct, the California Supreme Court recently decided that the LA County Sheriff's Dep, and other law enforcement agencies, have the authority to alert prosecutors that a deputy who might be testifying in court, has a past history of misconduct.
The public have a right to know what officers are up to and it helps to hold police departments accountable when there is more transparency regarding this information.
Various lawsuits have been launched in the past because the police have sought to keep certain records secret from the public, pertaining to various investigations of police misconduct. As well, lawsuits have also been filed by police unions to prevent individuals from turning over information to the DA for example, that might list a variety of officers who have a history of misconduct.
The testimony of an officer holds a lot of weight in court and it's important for the court to know who they are dealing with. This includes knowing the sort of history that the individual might have because that history might be one of perpetual lies, that would effectively obstruct justice rather than help to pursue it.
One previous survey from 2015 asked Americans if they agreed with the statement that most officers lie to serve their own interests, 30.9 percent said that they agreed with the statement, while 43.8 percent disagreed, and 25.2 percent were unsure. There are still millions of people who have confidence in the trustworthiness of this group. However, other investigations have found that younger individuals today are much less likely than adults to have confidence in business leaders, police officers, and religious leaders.
Surprisingly, even police officers themselves will admit and agree that bad actors aren't held accountable.
Despite the recent ruling from the California Supreme Court however, it's alleged that law enforcement agencies still won't be required to keep lists of those officers who they might be having perpetual problems with. There is a great deal of record keeping over this matter that needs to be vastly improved and thankfully there are some who've challenged themselves already with trying to meet that goal.