The LAPD built collecting social media info into its interview process for civilians

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Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Police Department asked officers to gather social media information as a standard part of their interviews with civilians, whether or not the people were implicated in a crime. The practice, revealed in public records obtained by the Brennan Center for Justice, is part of a larger LAPD social media monitoring strategy — one that’s similar to other US police department policies but may go beyond them.

As the Brennan Center notes, a 2015 memo from LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck told the department that “similar to a nickname or an alias, a person’s online persona or identity used for social media and communication can be highly beneficial to investigations and possibly even future outreach programs.” Beck said that officers…

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