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The Latest: Courts split on blocking new police records law

January 3, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on challenges to a new police records law (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

The California Supreme Court has denied a last-minute challenge to a state law opening police records to the public, while a lower court is keeping older records sealed for now in Los Angeles.

The justices on Wednesday denied an appeal saying that the law should apply only to incidents that happen after the law took effect Tuesday. However, a judge in Los Angeles County has imposed a temporary stay.

The law reduces one of the nation’s most secretive police privacy laws. But it only applies when officers are found to have improperly used force or discharged a firearm, committed sexual assaults on the job, or have been dishonest in their official duties.

The Los Angeles County judge blocked the release of older records until a hearing next month.

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10:40 a.m.

The California Supreme Court has denied a last-minute challenge to a state law opening police records to the public.

The justices on Wednesday denied an appeal saying that the law should apply only to incidents that happen after the law took effect Tuesday.

The law was written partly in response to fatal police shootings of unarmed minority men.

It eases one of the nation’s most secretive police privacy laws. But it only applies when officers are found to have improperly used force or discharged a firearm, committed sexual assaults on the job, or have been dishonest in their official duties.

The San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies union asked the justices to find that the law should only apply to incidents that occur in 2019 or later.

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