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US LAPD officers falsely labeled people as gang members, prosecutors say

04:15  11 july  2020
04:15  11 july  2020 Source:   cnn.com

California pulls LAPD gang data from state database after prosecutors say officers falsified data

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The Los Angeles County District Attorney ’s Office filed dozens of felony charges against three LAPD officers suspected of falsely labeling innocent motorists and pedestrians they stopped as gang members . Braxton Shaw, Michael Coblentz, and Nicholas Martinez were notified Thursday that they

LAPD Chief Michel Moore. Photo: Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag. California’s gang database, CalGang, contains anywhere from 90,000 to 150,000 names, many belonging to people who aren’t gang members at all.

Three Los Angeles police officers face charges for allegedly falsely identifying people as gang members or associates, according to the Los Angeles County District attorney's office.

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At least three Los Angeles Police officers have been suspended for falsely identifying individuals as gang members , the department said Monday in a news release.

Three Los Angeles Police Department officers have been suspended for falsely classifying people as gang members in an effort to boost the department's statistics, authorities said . The officers , who had been assigned to the department's prestigious Metropolitan Division, were removed from the.

a close up of a camera: A Los Angeles Police Department officer wears a body camera at the Los Angeles Gay Pride Resist March, June 11, 2017 in Hollywood, California.  / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck    (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images) © ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images A Los Angeles Police Department officer wears a body camera at the Los Angeles Gay Pride Resist March, June 11, 2017 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Officers Braxton Shaw, Michael Coblentz and Nicolas Martinez each face one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, and multiple counts of filing false police reports and preparing false documentary evidence, according to a 59-count criminal complaint filed by the district attorney's office.

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They were falsely classifying people as gang members in an effort to boost the department's statistics, police said . LAPD officers accused of wrongly classifying people as gang membersMembers of the Los Angeles Police Department are under investigation over allegations

An internal investigation uncovered several officers within the Los Angeles Police Department ( LAPD ) falsely identified innocent Californians in traffic stops as gang members in an effort to make their police work appear more successful. A statement released Tuesday by the LAPD says that the

The officers are accused of falsifying identities and information, some of which would be used to enter individuals into a state gang database, according to the district attorney's office.

"In some instances, the defendants are accused of writing on the card that a person admitted to being a gang member even though body-worn camera video showed the defendants never asked the individual about their gang membership," the statement says, while in other instances, "the defendants allegedly wrote on the card that a person admitted to being a gang member despite the fact the person interviewed denied a gang affiliation."

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More than a dozen Los Angeles police officers were suspended or reassigned after a Southern California woman reported that her son had been incorrectly labeled a gang member , unleashing a broader inquiry into whether officers were falsifying records, according to the authorities.

a close up of a sign: Three Los Angeles police officers are facing charges of obstruction of justice and filing false police reports and evidence. © David McNew/Getty Images North America Three Los Angeles police officers are facing charges of obstruction of justice and filing false police reports and evidence.

Field interview cards used by officers to conduct interviews while they are on duty.

Shaw is accused of falsifying 43 field interview cards, Coblentz seven cards, and Martinez two cards.

The three officers were arrested, booked and released on their own recognizance, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department records. Arraignments for the officers have not been scheduled.

An attorney for Shaw said his client will be proven innocent.

"Braxton has devoted his personal life and professional law enforcement career to enhancing the quality of life for everyone," Greg Yacoubian said in an emailed statement. "As a Los Angeles police officer, Braxton has always acted at the direction, approval and validation of LAPD leadership. Once the facts are made known, I am confident Braxton will be cleared of any criminal liability."

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Monday, January 6, 2020 3 LAPD officers suspended for falsely labeling gang members to boost statistics | Easy Place At least three Los Angeles Police

LAPD officers allegedly lied about people being gang members .(Nick Ut/AP). The Los Angeles Police Department is looking into allegations that its officers have falsely identified people as gang members . Moore said the LAPD is working with the Justice System Integrity Division of the L.A

It is unclear whether the other two officers have attorneys.

The police union that represents the LAPD called for due process from the department and an objective investigation.

"Our expectation is that any officer filling out a police report or field interview card does so with care and accuracy. While we are not privy to all the facts that make up the District Attorney's case, the LAPD's national model on police accountability and rigorous internal investigative processes is on full display with regards to this incident," the Los Angeles Police Protective League said in a statement.

Prosecutors said that if convicted on all counts, Shaw faces up to 31 years, eight months in prison; Coblentz faces up to seven years, eight months; and Martinez faces up to four years, four months.

One officer was relieved of duty in January and is scheduled to face a panel to decide on his removal, the police department said. The other two are "assigned home" and their peace officer powers have been suspended, police said.

All three were assigned to the Metro Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. It is not clear which officer was relieved of duty.

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The department no longer uses the California Gang Database other than to remove people from it, according to police.

"Public trust is the bedrock of community policing and these allegations shake that foundation. The actions of these few tarnish the badge we all wear. The department is committed to continuing this comprehensive investigation in our effort to restore the confidence of the people we protect and serve," Police Chief Michel Moore said.

The issue was first discovered when a mother reported to the department that a letter from the LAPD mistakenly identified her son as a gang member, according to a police news release in January. The department found several falsifications in the document and initiated an investigation into the officers, the release said.

The department said Friday in a statement that it is investigating 21 more officers regarding field identification cards.

Of the 21 officers, 10 are assigned to home, eight are assigned to administrative duties, five remain in the field and one has retired.

"The charges filed today do not mark the end of our investigation," the department said.

Police officials said other officers in the Metro unit have been retrained and there is more monitoring of body-worn cameras.

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