Case Files

FAC Succeeds in Unsealing Search Warrant Executed on SF Journalist Bryan Carmody

A San Francisco judge yesterday ordered police to publicly release sealed documents relating to a search warrant executed on freelance journalist Bryan Carmody, whose home and office were raided by SFPD in an unlawful show of force that shocked journalists and free-press advocates across the country. The order, the result of a motion filed by the First Amendment Coalition along with two press-advocacy groups, requires the San Francisco Police Department to release, by Tuesday, their

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FAC, Media Coalition Notch Important Victory in Growing Police Transparency Fight

A coalition of media groups led by the First Amendment Coalition has prevailed in the latest battle in the expanding legal fight over California’s landmark police transparency bill, Senate Bill 1421. On Friday, Judge Charles Treat of the Contra Costa County Superior Court denied a preliminary injunction sought by police unions that would have barred the release of police misconduct records created before January 1, 2019, the date SB 1421 went into effect. Enacted last

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FAC, Media Coalition Fight New Effort to Weaken CA Police Transparency Law

A coalition of media groups led by the First Amendment Coalition (FAC) today filed court papers challenging yet another attempt by a police union to undermine a new, landmark police transparency law in California—this time in Los Angeles County. The law (SB 1421), which went into effect on Jan. 1, requires a slew of formerly confidential police records be made available to the public, including those involving police shootings and accusations of police misconduct. FAC

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FAC Forces Disclosure of CA Gov. Brown’s Request to Pardon Former State Sen. Wright

Nearly 300 pages of previously secret documents became public yesterday after the First Amendment Coalition (FAC) filed a motion to unseal records regarding Gov. Jerry Brown’s effort to pardon former state Sen. Rod Wright. The documents—some still heavily redacted—had been originally filed under seal as part of a flawed, longstanding practice in which all papers filed with the high court as part of a governor’s pardon request are automatically treated as confidential. Such automatic sealing is

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Victory for Transparency: CA Supreme Court Rejects Police Union Effort to Gut Landmark Police Transparency Law

In a significant victory for government transparency and accountability, the California Supreme Court today denied a police union’s last-minute effort to undermine the effectiveness of a new, landmark police transparency law, rejecting the union’s effort to make the law (SB 1421) apply only to records created after January 1, 2019. The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) led a coalition of media groups in opposing the union’s effort, filing papers on December 28 urging the Court to deny the

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