I have reviewed your letter to the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD” or “Department”) dated, May 19, 2020. The Department has processed your request regarding preservation of evidence related to an incident on April 24, 2020. The second part of your request, requesting surveillance footage for the period of January 16,2020 through January 31, 2020 is being handled under the California Public Records Act (Cal. Govt. Code section 6250, et seq., hereinafter the “CPRA” or “Act”).
The Department is cognizant of its responsibilities under the CPRA. It recognizes the statutory scheme was enacted to maximize citizen access to the workings of government. The Act does not mandate disclosure of all documents within the government’s possession. Rather, by specific exemption and reference to other statutes, the Act recognizes that there are boundaries where the public’s right to access must be balanced against such weighty considerations as the right of privacy, a right of constitutional dimension under California Constitution, Article 1, Section 1. The law also allows for nondisclosure of records that are otherwise exempt under either express provisions of the Act or pursuant to applicable federal or state law, per California Government Code Sections 6254(a); 6254(b); 6254(c); 6254(f); 6254(k); and 6255.
Regarding your request for surveillance footage for the period of January 16, 2020 through January 31, 2020, generally, surveillance videos in LAPD’s possession are investigatory in nature and if any videos were found, they would be properly part of an investigatory file. In accordance with the California Government Code, Section 6254(f), records of investigations conducted by, or investigatory files compiled by, any local police agency for law enforcement purposes are exempt from disclosure. Therefore, we are denying your request for surveillance footage. However, if you would like to provide us with more information regarding a specific incident you believe may have occurred involving Mr. Padilla during that time frame and you believe LAPD may have surveillance video in their possession, please advise so we may re-open your request to evaluate and further our search.
If you have any questions, please respond to this email.
LAPD Discovery Section, CPRA Unit