The Los Angeles Police Department ordered a confidential informant to monitor and record meetings held by a political group that staged protests against President Trump in 2017, a move that has drawn concern and consternation from civil rights advocates.
On four separate occasions in October 2017, the informant entered Echo Park United Methodist Church with a hidden recorder and captured audio of meetings held by the Los Angeles chapter of Refuse Fascism, a group which has organized a number of large-scale demonstrations against the Trump administration in major U.S. cities, according to court records reviewed by The Times.
The operation was launched by the LAPD’s Major Crimes division in October 2017, as police across the country were preparing for potential mass demonstrations to mark the one-year anniversary of Trump’s election, records show.
Police reports and transcripts documenting the informant’s activities became public as part of an ongoing case against several members of Refuse Fascism who were charged with criminal trespass for blocking a downtown section of the 101 Freeway during two separate anti-Trump demonstrations in September and November of 2017.
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