DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An anti-police activist group has launched a website it says contains a searchable database of photographs and information about every sworn Los Angeles Police officer.
Representatives for the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition say they filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking even more information about officers that they want to publish on the group's WatchTheWatchers.net website, which is now operational. The coalition wants the court to order LAPD to release the heights and weights of all its officers as well.
"LAPD blocked that request refusing to disclose the height of even a single officer," said Shakeer Rahman, an attorney for Stop LAPD Spying Coalition. "They claim that revealing those heights would be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."
The groups website now allows the public to search for LAPD officers by name, offering an officer's photograph, rank, serial number, date of hire and area of work.
"All of that is already public record that you already can find out about an officer," said Rahman.
"We don't think that cops should have extra rights, but rather extra levels of transparency and accountability," said Sheila Bates of Black Lives Matter LA.
But Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore is critical of the website and says publishing information about officers is dangerous.
"They live in a hostile environment at times by a relatively few by dangerous individuals that would cause them harm," Moore told Eyewitness News. "I worry every day about my wife and about my family because of the threats and the issues that come against me as an individual, so I'll do everything within my power to protect the privacy interests of our officers."
But activists say LAPD officers have a history of hiding their identities in questionable confrontations.
"The LAPD is notorious to cover their badges and to not give people their names," said Hamid Khan of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition.
Di Barbadillo of the National Lawyers Guild LA says she's had LAPD officers point their guns directly in her face, and then cover their badges when she asked for their names.
"So many police officers are intentionally going out of their way to hide their badge numbers and blatantly refusing to provide their serial numbers when asked," she said.