My request, submitted February 26 to the LAPD Discovery Section, stated in part:
I am requesting copies of files available for release related to the discovery of the body of Jeffrey Alan Lash. The corpse was discovered by police on or about July 17, 2015 in Pacific Palisades. Of particular interest are files depicting investigations and conclusions of circumstances surrounding the deceased, but all records and files related to the Lash case available for release are requested.
The LAPD response, received by email March 7, explained:
The Los Angeles Police Department is cognizant of its responsibilities under the Act. It recognizes the statutory scheme was enacted in order to maximize citizen access to the workings of government. The Act does not mandate disclosure of all documents within the government's possession. Rather, by specific exemption and reference to other statutes, the Act recognizes that there are boundaries where the public's right to access must be balanced against such weighty considerations as the right of privacy, a right of constitutional dimension under California Constitution, Article 1, Section 1. The law also exempts from disclosure records that are privileged or confidential or otherwise exempt under either express provisions of the Act or pursuant to applicable federal or state law, per California Government Code Sections 6254(b); 6254(c); 62540; 6254(k); and 6255.
Your request seeks records that are either investigatory records or properly part of an investigative file. In accordance with Section 62540, records of investigations conducted by, or investigatory files compiled by, any local police agency for law enforcement purposes, are exempt from disclosure. Therefore, I am denying your request.
I suspect there may be ongoing aspects of the investigation which would contribute to the decision to retain all files. Perhaps submitting the request again at a later date would be more productive, or making similar requests to additional agencies under the Freedom of Information Act would eventually reveal more information.
Researchers wishing to email information requests to LAPD may do so at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Discovery Section may be reached by telephone at 213-978-2100. Read more about the California Public Records Act on the LAPD website.