L.A. Sheriff asks 9th Circuit for immunity in warrants fiasco

Courthouse News Service

PASADENA, Calif. (CN) – An attorney for Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy Baca on Thursday urged the 9th Circuit to grant immunity to the sheriff in a federal class action that claims thousands of people have been falsely arrested on warrants for other people.

Lead plaintiff Reginald Lenard Smith in 2011 sued Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Baca and the LAPD, for failure to train officers how to access unique identifying numbers on computer systems to determine the subjects of arrest warrants.

California’s unique identifiers are called CII numbers, while Los Angeles County uses LA Main numbers. The numbers match biometric identifiers to fingerprints. Like fingerprints, no two people have the same biometric identifier.

Smith claimed that in 2007 he found himself shipped off to the Los Angeles County jail after he was stopped by police in Antioch, Tenn., for a minor traffic violation and mistaken for a different Reggie Smith.

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