Three Los Angeles police officers filed a lawsuit against the owner of anti-police website killercop.com. Their photos and thousands of others with the department were published with an alleged bounty placed on them.
A public records request resulted in the LAPD releasing names and pictures of over 9,300 officers. Some of those revealed last week included undercover cops.
The lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of Officers Adam Gross, Adrian Rodriguez, and Douglas Panameno. The Los Angeles Police Protective League demanded that the photos and other identifying details be taken down from the site.
This was the first suit filed after the massive release of information by the LAPD. Dozens of undercover officers are expected to file a class-action lawsuit against the department over the controversial action.
Sources within the department told the Los Angeles Times that some officers are considering retirement because of the release.
Three Los Angeles police officers are reportedly suing the owner of an anti-police website, accusing him of publishing their photos and putting out a "bounty" on them. https://t.co/nhB21ItIzS
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) March 27, 2023
The lawsuit identified the website owner as Steven Sutcliffe, who posts under the name @KillerCop1984. The filing alleges he tweeted, “Remember, #Rewards are double all year for #detectives and #female cops.”
The tweet featured an image of a financial reward for carrying out the killing of an LAPD officer, according to the lawsuit. It also alleged a later tweet included a database of police officer photos and said, “Clean head-shots on these #LAPD officers. A to Z.”
The lawsuit’s defendant reportedly protested that his threats and bounties are First Amendment-protected free speech. Apparently, this belief is not universal, as killercops.com is now unavailable.
The LA Times reported that Sutcliffe told the paper that the lawsuit is “malicious. It’s retaliatory. It is vindictive and frivolous. Their motion is filled with lies.”
Sutcliffe reportedly added that the police officers are “trying to silence my free speech. The truth cannot be retaliatory.”
LAPD officials released the detailed information after a public records request by Knock LA, which is described as a “nonprofit newsroom.” The information was then posted by the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition.
Along with photos, each officer’s name, rank, ethnicity, date of hire, division/bureau and badge number were revealed. LAPD said the inclusion of undercover officers in the massive information release was a mistake. Sources said dozens if not hundreds may be compromised.