|Stepped in to help|
The Los Angeles Police Department has violated the California Public Records Act in turning back a bid to obtain the tapes of Manson henchman Tex Watson. The remedy is a letter from esteemed lawyer Dean Wallraff of the California Public Records Access Project. Read it here.
From the letter: You have violated the Public Records Act by failing to respond in writing with the determination required by Pub. Res. Code § 6253(c). You continue to violate it by failing to provide the documents Mr. Miller requested. There is no reason it should take over four months for you to provide what can’t amount to more than a handful of responsive documents.
Dean stepped in to help someone from out of state, and he has little to gain from this. This should be an example to all of the other so-called First Amendment groups out there who do very very little for the public. Dean is the fourth stop for me as I searched for some help on this.
The tapes have a tale of their own. They were partly used for Watson’s little-read book, Will You Die for Me?, published on a small press in 1978. The tapes were recorded in 1969 after Watson was arrested in Texas in connection with the Sharon Tate-LaBianca murders in LA.
The LAPD obtained the tapes a couple of years ago and contends they are being used to investigate some unsolved crimes.
The LAPD refused a request for the tapes themselves last year. The department then disregarded an appeal letter.
It takes a lot of work to fight operations like the LAPD who profess to care about the public but also care about protecting their pensions and maintaining a team of bureaucrats to keep the public at bay.
It’s a worthwhile battle. I hope it doesn’t end up in court, as it’s the public’s money the department would spend to wage a defense.