LAPD Says Officers Falsely Portrayed People As Gang Members

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The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating multiple officers on suspicion of falsifying information and portraying people as gang members or associates.

The Los Angeles Times reports that according to multiple sources, more than a dozen Los Angeles police officers with the elite Metro Division are being investigated. 

The officers are suspected of falsifying field interview cards during stops and inputting incorrect information about those questioned in an effort to boost stop statistics, the LA Times reports. 

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According to sources, body camera and car recordings did not match the accounts in the field interview cards in at least one case, the LA Times reports. 

The sources also said some of the officers under investigation have been removed from active duty, the LA Times reports. 

“An officer’s integrity must be absolute. There is no place in the Department for any individual who would purposely falsify information on a Department report,” Chief Michel Moore said in a statement, the LA Times reports.

A San Fernando Valley mother who received a written correspondence from the department in early 2019 informing her that her son had been identified as a gang member reported the mistake to a supervisor at a nearby police station, claiming her son was misidentified. Her report is what prompted the investigation, the LA Times reports. 

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The supervisor reviewed the circumstances, including “body worn video and other information, finding inaccuracies in the documentation completed by an officer,” according to the LAPD, the LA Times reports. 

According to the department, the mother was notified that any references to her son being identified as a gang member were removed, the LA Times reports.

An internal investigation into the three officers that allegedly misidentified the woman’s son followed, the LA Times reports.

“Over the course of several months, Internal Affairs investigators have continued their investigation resulting in identifying additional inaccuracies in the documentation on field interview cards completed by those officers as well as others,” the LAPD statement read, the LA Times reports.

According to an LA Times investigation previously published, Metro officers stopped African-American drivers at a rate more than five times their share of the city’s population.

The LA Times reports that the LAPD’s statement said, “Given the serious nature of the alleged misconduct, all involved officers have been assigned to inactive duty or removed from the field.”

According to CNN, at least three LAPD officers were suspended for falsely identifying individuals as gang members.

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