'Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit has discovered that a self-deleting messaging app called Tiger Text has been adopted by at least one US police department, which may have used it to share sensitive and potentially incriminating information that they wouldn't want to be disclosed to a court.
Current and former officers from the Long Beach Police Department in Southern California have told Al Jazeera that their police-issued phones had Tiger Text installed on them.
The Tiger Text app is designed to erase text messages after a set time period. Once the messages have been deleted, they cannot be retrieved - even through forensic analysis of the phone.
The police officers who spoke with Al Jazeera said the confidential messaging system was used to share details of police operations and sensitive personnel issues.
Two of the officers claimed that they were also instructed by their superiors to use the app to "have conversations with other officers that wouldn't be discoverable".
They said they understood this to include exculpatory evidence that could be potentially helpful to attorneys in both civil and criminal proceedings against the department.
It's a claim that the Long Beach Police Department denies.
But the officers say they were not surprised by the instructions, claiming that the discovery process within the police department was never on the "up and up".
"I find it odd that we have a communication system that circumvents everything that we are supposed to be doing," said one officer who is still with the department.
But "nothing surprises me working there."'
Read more: US police 'using Tiger Text app to conceal evidence'
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