Days after a Los Angeles Times report revealed that the LAPD ordered an informant to spy on members of a political group planning protests against President Trump in 2017, Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that his agency would soon publish findings of an investigation into the matter, while also suggesting the group had engaged in violence in other cities in the past.
Moore told the city’s civilian Police Commission that the Office of Constitutional Policing and Policy could finish its review of the LAPD’s decision to place an informant inside the group Refuse Fascism in as little as two weeks, and promised to make those findings public.
But as members of the group and other community activists stood up to criticize the use of the informant during Tuesday’s meeting, Moore also suggested the group had been linked to violent actions in the past, including arson and assault.
For four weeks in October 2017, the LAPD’s Major Crimes Division sent the informant to secretly record audio of Refuse Fascism’s meetings, which were held inside an Echo Park church, as the group planned demonstrations to mark the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s election. Civil rights advocates and experts who monitor the political fringe have said the LAPD’s tactics needlessly stepped on the group’s First Amendment rights, since Refuse Fascism has rarely been linked to violence.
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