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California officer accused of recording lawyer conversations

October 3, 2018

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California police officer has been charged with four felonies for allegedly recording conversations between four juvenile suspects and their attorney.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office announced the charges Wednesday.

Prosecutors allege that Alameda County Sheriff Sgt. James Russell’s body-worn camera captured him telling a supervisor that he secretly recorded the conversations on March 15. The suspects had been arrested in connection with a robbery and high-speed police chase.

District Attorney Nancy O’Malley tossed out the suspects’ charges after learning about the recordings. O’Malley said her office is reviewing every juvenile case handled by the sheriff’s department this year.

The 20-year veteran has been placed on paid leave. The Deputy Sheriffs Association of Alameda did not immediately respond to an email or return a phone call seeking comment.

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