Los Angeles Area Fusion Spy Center Exposed: Communities Demand full Transparency and End to Civil Liberties and Privacy Violations

Media Advisory
Contacts:
Hamid Khan, (562) 230-4578
Pete White, (213) 434-1594
Mariella Saba, (323) 382-1631

Los Angeles Area Fusion Spy Center Exposed! Communities Demand full Transparency and End to Civil Liberties and Privacy Violations!

What: Press Conference and Rally at the Los Angeles area Fusion Center also known as JRIC – Joint Regional Intelligence Center.

When:Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:00 am

Where: 12440 E. Imperial Hwy., Norwalk, CA 90650

Who: Stop LAPD Spying Coalition including numerous organizational and individual members.

On October 3rd, the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, released a highly critical report on Fusion Centers, calling it “Waste at State and Local Intelligence Fusion Centers” (full report available at http://stoplapdspying.org/category/campaign_news).The Senate report said that after spending almost $1.4 Billion,“Fusion centers intelligence reporting was often flawed, irrelevant or useless, and inappropriate or unrelated to terrorism.” The report further exposed, “…civil liberties intrusions and potentially illegal reports about constitutionally protected activity,” and “…in some cases Fusion Centers lack adequate financial oversight and failed to hold officials accountable who reportedly violated guidelines.”

The senate subcommittee report confirms the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition’s deep concern with the Los Angeles Police Department’s flawed Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) program. LAPD is a leading law enforcement agency which shares information with the Los Angeles Area Fusion Center, one of the largest in the country, located in Norwalk, CA.Since March 2008, pursuant to Special Order (SO) 1 and iWATCH program, LAPD has opened and sent thousands of secret files to the Norwalk location.

Jamie Rae Garcia, a registered nurse and member of the coalition said “The senate report on fusion centers confirm that LAPD Suspicious Activity Reporting amounts to a waste of precious public resources during a time of economic crisis, when critical services are being cut back, homelessness is on the rise and education is being gutted.”

The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition has filed strong opposition to LAPD’s role in facilitating secret data collection of lawful activities. “LAPD Special Order 1 and iWATCH allow the routine use of innocent activity, like taking pictures or using binoculars, and many other activities, to open formal police investigations without one’s knowledge. They systematically invade privacy and violate our civil liberties,” said Jim Lafferty, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild and member of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition.

The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition is a diverse grassroots coalition that includes youth, immigrants, formerly incarcerated people, academics, LGBTQ community members, artists, lawyers, and faith based and community-based organizations. The coalition has demanded that LAPD rescind Special Order 1 and terminate the iWATCH program. Not only do these policies violate privacy and civil liberties, they further add to police practices based on false positives and racial profiling. The Senate report has stated very clearly – “Garbage In, Garbage Out.”

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Visit www.stoplapdspying.org for more information. Endorsing organizations include Dream Team LA, LA Community Action Network,

Youth Justice Coalition, Interfaith Communities United in Justice and Peace, Labor Community Strategy Center, Enlace,

Southern California Immigration Coalition, National Lawyers Guild-LA, IDEPSCA, Sin Fronteras, Desis Rising Up and Moving, Gender Justice LA, Advocates for Black Strategic Alternatives, Occupy the Hood LA, Occidental College – Urban and Environmental Policy Institute

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2 Responses to “Los Angeles Area Fusion Spy Center Exposed: Communities Demand full Transparency and End to Civil Liberties and Privacy Violations”

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