FOIA Request Overview
This records request stems from a 2007 Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) proposal to implement a “community mapping” program. According to the LAPD, it intended to target the area’s Muslim population and identify communities that “may be susceptible to violent, ideologically-based extremism.” Muslim Advocates, along with a series of coalition groups, expressed their strong concerns about the program and its discriminatory and stigmatizing impact on the American Muslim community. In response, the then-Chief of Police William Bratton announced in November 2007 that the LAPD would be “indefinitely postponing” the Muslim mapping program.
Although the program was never fully implemented, Muslim Advocates sought additional information as to the development and scope of the proposed project through its records request. The LAPD provided evolving justifications to refuse the production of responsive records, initially stating that such records did not exist (despite public comments by the LAPD acknowledging such documents); then producing only a handful of emails dated after the program ended; and later claiming that further production would cause undue burden. In July 2016, after Muslim Advocates repeatedly sought—and was denied—clarification or further documents, they filed suit against the LAPD to compel production. The case was decided in favor of Muslim Advocates in early 2018.
Date filed: December 12, 2013