Eric Richardson / blogdowntown
LAPD officers form a line along Broadway to keep Occupy LA marchers on the sidewalk.
A hacker group affiliated with Anonymous has claimed responsibility for posting the personal information of more than 40 members of the Los Angeles Police Department's command staff. A member of the group said in a chat with KPCC Wednesday evening it put the information up because of the LAPD's "violent oppression" in clearing the Occupy LA encampment. Police said Thursday the majority of the officers listed were not involved in the Occupy LA clearing operation and some were retired.
The hacker group @CabinCr3w sent out a Twitter message Dec. 5 that police said provided information on officers' backgrounds, home addresses, campaign contributions, property records, and in some cases, the names of family members, including children.
Police initially said the list included 25 members of the LAPD, but a review by KPCC showed that 44 officers had information posted on them that ranged from minimal information such as an email address or their rank, to more personal details including family members names, a person's online resume, home values and phone number.
Nine of the officers listed were involved in the LAPD operation to clear Occupy LA, either helping plan, supervise or assisting on scene the night of the operation. Seven of those listed have been retired, and along with the remaining 35, were not involved in the raid.
The tweet is still viewable, but the referenced link is no longer active. The information was taken down on Wednesday, but the group later reposted it under a new link.
In a tweet sent at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday the group said "Funny that @LAPD is "looking" for who posted their info...not like we hid that we did it. Y U NO EXPECT US?"
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the department did ask for the information to be removed and CabinCr3w said the group did not remove it.
The group said their actions were a response to the LAPD raid on the Occupy LA encampment and their treatment of protesters.
"It all comes from those [LAPD] actions, and how the protesters are now being treated like criminals for practicing a fundamental right," a member of CabinCr3w wrote to KPCC in an online chatroom.
Smith said the majority of those listed on site were not involved in clearing the Occupy LA encampment and a few have been retired.
"They're private citizens trying to live their lives in peace after serving 30 years," Smith said. "Now somebody throws all their personal information into the public forum. Most of those people were not involved in the Occupy LA clearing...They just got ahold of random police officers, and some random civilians who had nothing to do with that."
At 8 a.m. Thursday the group sent out a tweet saying: "Now that we have the attention of the #LAPD maybe u should look into ways to treat protesters better, WE are humans not garbage."
Smith said the department had worked hard to give protesters ample notice and avoid arresting people.
"There's always going to be one or two people who are upset about something," Smith said. "But gosh, we gave everybody a chance to disperse. We begged people to clear the Occupy area so we didn't have to arrest anybody."
The member of CabinCr3w said "the bay knows us from OpBART." In August, Anonymous shut down four Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stations in San Francisco after BART police decided to shut cell phone service to prevent a planned protest against the shooting death of Charles Hill, a homeless man killed by BART police officers in July. BART officials said the protests would lead to platform overcrowding and unsafe conditions.
The information on the LAPD brass was put on the site "Sticky Paste," a copy and paste sharing site anyone can post onto without an account. The site owner, Eric, who declined to give his full name, created the site less than a year ago and said he did not know anything about CabinCr3w.
Eric said he does not regularly maintain "Sticky Paste." He said he had no idea the group posted LAPD information on his site. He runs the site from New Jersey and said he noticed strange code on it a couple months ago, but did nothing about it. "On the website now, I see a whole bunch of spam," Eric said.
Smith said he cannot confirm if the group posted the information, but gathering and publishing such public information is legal. It is, however, a safety concern for officers and their family, Smith said.
"It's a creepy thing to do, but it's not against the law to cull something from a website," Smith said. He said the department may attempt to email or otherwise contact the group.
In a recent Tumblr blog post, the group wrote:
We are the cabin,
we are the 99%.
We do not forgive,
we do not forget.
The member of CabinCr3w said the group culled their information from public sources and is not concerned about what people decide to do with the information they posted. The LAPD said the information appears to have come from public records, Web searches and the LAPD website.
"We are just exposing the powers at [sic] be that get to sit a [sic] home while peaceful protesters are getting beat," said a member of CabinCr3w.
Smith called the incident "unfortunate."
"We deal with a lot of bad people in this department...and bad people sometimes hold a grudge," Smith said. "Why would somebody put that together? I can think of no good reasons to want to do that, but I can think of a lot of bad reasons...Anybody can reach anyone in our department by phone, email or by sending a letter."
When asked why they posted the names of LAPD command staff's family members, a member of CabinCr3w said: "The protesters have family that is being effected [sic] by their actions."
An LAPD officer surfing the Web Tuesday stumbled upon the link that led to the group's website listing 25 officers including captains, commanders, deputy chiefs, a sergeant and civilian employees of the department, Smith said.
CabinCr3w said the group was continuing to monitor official response to Occupy and will "expose" those responsible for evicting protesters. On its Tumblr site the group ties itself to the 99%; a member of CabinCr3w said Wednesday: "we will not go down without a fight."
"We don't do things for 'the lulz' we do things because real peoples rights are being taken away. We live in a world that people are sitting idle while their freedom is being stripped...The government wants to stop this movement, we have reached a turning point, and we are recording the wrongdoings along the way."
This story was updated from an earlier version posted at 5:38 p.m. Wednesday, which first reported a link to Anonymous.