Beachcomber newspaper announces lawsuit against Long Beach City for allegedly ‘stonewalling’ public records


The Beachcomber newspaper announced Wednesday that it is suing the City of Long Beach for allegedly “stonewalling” the publication’s requests for public records involving two incidents of supposed police misconduct investigations.

Reporter Stephen Downing of the Beachcomber newspaper broke the news that Beck Law Firm would represent the publication in the lawsuit and will serve the Petition for Writ of Mandate to the city on Sept. 12.

The lawsuit is announced the same week news about an agreement in a contract between the City of Long Beach and the Police Officers Association (POA) that claims employees of the police department would be notified as to who or what organization is requesting public records that involve the employee in question.

“The department will provide the involved active employee(s) with an opportunity to review the redacted records at least five calendar days prior to public release,” according to a memo from the City of Long Beach Human Services Department.

As previously reported in the Signal Tribune, the city and the POA revealed further details about the contract on Sept. 9.

The council will review the agreement on Sept. 17 for discussion and consideration.

“The stonewalling has been going on for quite sometime,” Jay Beeler, publisher of the Beachcomber newspaper told the Signal Tribune during an phone call Wednesday evening. “Unless we take action like this and stand united as media–– it’ll get through to them that they can’t continue to hide this stuff.”