LBPD Has Shared License Plate Reader Data to ICE: LA Times
(Video via the Denver Polcie Department)
According to a report by the L.A. Times, the Long Beach Police Department was sharing data from license plate readers "directly" to I.C.E., which could be a violation of city policy that restricts the LBPD from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
Why it matters:
In November, the LBPD told local news outlet Forthe that the department dropped U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from a list of law enforcement agencies that grant access to the department's data on license plate readers.
Catch Up quick:
In 2018 the Long Beach City Council passed the Values Act, an ordinance that restricts the police department from sharing or disclosing data to federal immigration agencies. Still, the law does have "cutouts" that give LBPD leeway to obligate some requests from I.C.E., according to a report by the LB Press-Telegram.
👉 In November, the Long Beach City Council approved and purchased 17 license plate reader devices from the Livermore-based Vigilant Solutions, a Motorola subsidiary, for the LBPD's Parking Enforcement Division, per Forthe.
What they're saying:
LBPD spokesperson Brandon Fahey told the L.A. Times that a single employee unwittingly allowed access to I.C.E. through Vigilant's "group approval" feature. Furthermore, the department is "not currently sharing information with I.C.E. through the ALPR system," and "that personal identifying information associated with read plates was never shared. Since discovering this error, the department has implemented several protocols to ensure this error does not occur again in the future, including prohibiting group approvals and adding additional steps in the review and approval process."
But, but, but:
Even though LBPD says they don't grant I.C.E. access, nor are they "currently sharing information with I.C.E. through the ALPR system," LBPD does share license plate reader data with other agencies. Those agencies include Border Patrol and California's Joint Regional Intelligence Center, which shares their data with the Department of Homeland Security; I.C.E. is a federal agency under its jurisdiction.