Size: px
Start display at page:



1 Los Angeles Police Department BOARD OF INQUIRY into the RAMPART AREA CORRUPTION INCIDENT Public Report BERNARD C. PARKS Chief of Police March 1, 2000

2 INTRADEPARTMENTAL CORRESPONDENCE March 1, TO: The Honorable Board of Police Commissioners FROM: Chief of Police SUBJECT: BOARD OF INQUIRY INTO THE RAMPART CORRUPTION INCIDENT Honorable Members: It is requested that the Board approve the enclosed Report of the Board of Inquiry that was convened to gather facts related to the Rampart Area corruption incident. Upon approval, the report should be forwarded to the Mayor and City Council for appropriate action. The Board of Inquiry s report contains many thoughtful short and long-term recommendations that we believe are necessary to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. As the City s formal budget process begins in mid-april, there is some urgency in reaching consensus on several key recommendations requiring financial support. As we have discussed on several occasions, this is the first of at least two public reports that will be issued regarding the corruption investigation. This first report examines and analyzes the management aspects of the incident including a Departmentwide examination to determine the breadth and depth of the problem. Recognizing our responsibility to be open and candid with the public we serve, an executive summary has also been prepared and, along with the full report, is now available to the public on the Department s Web site (www.lapdonline.org). As a Board of Inquiry (BOI) is a fact-finding body, extensive follow-up investigation will be required into the personnel issues identified through the BOI process. To facilitate that effort, a complete record of the Board s findings, which includes legallyprotected personnel and disciplinary issues, has been compiled and will be used to ensure those issues are addressed. Similar to the public report we issued several years ago at the conclusion of the Fuhrman investigation, a second report will be issued after the Rampart Task Force has completed its investigation. We believe it is imperative that full and complete public disclosure occurs regarding this investigation including public disclosure of the exact nature and disposition of each allegation. Given the complexity of the Rampart investigation and the need to investigate these charges fully and thoroughly, we would expect that report to be issued in about a year. Until that time, the Department will continue to brief the Board of Police Commissioners, as well as the Mayor and City Council, regarding the investigation s progress, which is

3 Board of Police Commissioners Page being conducted jointly with the District Attorney s Office and the Office of the United States Attorney General. We believe it is important to state once again, that the Los Angeles Police Department discovered this corrupt behavior and immediately initiated a comprehensive investigation into the entire matter. For almost two years now, we have committed substantial resources to that investigation and will continue to do so as the investigation progresses. At no time did we attempt to hide or keep this incident from the public. On the contrary, we made immediate and full disclosure to the Board of Police Commissioners, the Office of the District Attorney, the United States Attorney s Office, and then to the public. We continue to work hand-in-hand with the prosecutorial agencies and are submitting the results of each investigation to them for criminal filing. As I committed to the people of Los Angeles in August 1998, we will thoroughly investigate every criminal lead and allegation of misconduct to its appropriate disposition. It is important to remember during this difficult time that the vast majority of our officers are hard working, honest and responsible individuals who come to work every day to serve their communities. However, as human beings we know that certain events indelibly alter our lives, whether we realize it at the time or not. Anyone who has experienced the death of a child, or suffered through the humiliation of being victimized by a violent crime, knows they can never again look at the world in the same way. Organizations too have those defining moments and the events that have been uncovered in Rampart will and should be just such a life-altering experience for the Los Angeles Police Department. The men and women who chose to involve themselves in this disgraceful activity will be dealt with. But, we as an organization must recognize that, while they individually and collectively provided the motivation, we as an organization provided the opportunity. Our failure to carefully review reports, our failure to examine events closely to identify patterns, our failure to provide effective oversight and auditing created the opportunity for this cancer to grow. So, as tempting as it may be to declare the battle over and the war won, we must never forget that this occurred and be ever vigilant that we never allow the opportunity for this to occur again. BERNARD C. PARKS Chief of Police Enclosures

4 PREFACE In 1996, the Department of Justice convened the National Symposium on Police Integrity. The 200 participants in this three-day meeting included police chiefs, sheriffs, police researchers, members of other professions, and community leaders. In addition to the United States, there were representatives from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belarus, Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, and Honduras. The results of that symposium were published in January 1997 and included the thoughts and observations of many national leaders from Attorney General Janet Reno to Dr. Vicchio, a professor of philosophy at the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore 1. Though there are a number of interesting and insightful viewpoints expressed in that publication, there is one in particular which is most relevant to the issues at hand. That observation came from Captain Ross Swope, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C. At the heart of Captain Ross Swope s remarks was a simple yet profound observation that: The major cause in the lack of integrity in American police officers is mediocrity. Captain Swope went on to explain that mediocrity stems from the failure to hold officers responsible and accountable. It comes from a lack of commitment, laziness, excessive tolerance and the use of kid gloves. He felt that dealing with mediocrity is perhaps the greatest contemporary challenge to American law enforcement. When asked to explain how mediocrity is dangerous, Captain Swope drew an analogy of the bell curve. At the high end of the bell curve are those officers who practice all the core values: prudence, truth, courage, justice, honesty and responsibility. At the other end, are the officers with few of those values. In the large middle are those officers who have some or most of the core values. The extent of moral influence in a police department depends on the extent to which the lower and upper portions influence those in the middle. The men and women who control that influence are sergeants, lieutenants and captains. The irony is that everyone within a work place knows full well which of the three categories their co-workers fall into. When officers in the middle see that officers at the bottom end are not dealt with, they sometimes begin to imitate their behavior. Similarly, when those at the top end are recognized and rewarded, they become the workplace standard. The principal, though not exclusive, agents in encouraging top-end or allowing bottom-end behaviors are supervisors and middle managers. It is our sergeants, lieutenants and captains who have the daily and ongoing responsibility to ensure that the appropriate workplace standards are maintained. However, that observation in no way relieves upper managers from their responsibility to ensure that proper standards are being maintained in their subordinate commands by providing appropriate guidance, exerting their oversight responsibility and honestly evaluating the effectiveness of the commands for which they are ultimately responsible. 1 Police Integrity, Public Service with Honor U.S. Department of Justice, January 1997 i

5 As you read this report from the Board of Inquiry, keep Captain Swope s observations in mind for we found, and you will see, that mediocrity was alive and well in Rampart up until about We are sad to report that we also found mediocrity threatening to engulf many of our other workplace environments as well. This is not to say or imply in any way that corruption is occurring throughout the Department, for we do not believe that is the case. However, there are strong indicators that mediocrity is flourishing in many other workplaces and the mindset of too many managers and supervisors is allowing it to occur. Rather than challenging our people to do their best, too many of our leaders are allowing mediocre performance and, in some cases, even making excuses for it. If Captain Swope is correct in his observation that corruption follows mediocrity, and we believe that he is, then we must begin immediately to instill a true standard of excellence throughout the Department. In most cases, this will not require new programs or approaches to police work. However, it will require the scrupulous adherence to existing policies and standards, the ability to detect any individual or collective pattern of performance which falls short of that expectation, and the courage to deal with those who are responsible for those failures. Anything less will surely allow another Rampart to occur. In conclusion, we would like to express our gratitude to the leadership of the subcommittees and work groups as well as the over 300 men and women who worked so tirelessly in conducting this Board of Inquiry. Tens of thousands of documents were meticulously reviewed and hundreds of interviews conducted. In many cases, this was done while people continued to fulfill the responsibilities of their primary assignment. We would also like to express our sincere appreciation to the nearly seventy men and women currently assigned to the criminal and administrative task forces pursuing the Rampart corruption investigation. Obviously, their story of dedication and tremendous personal sacrifice cannot be told now, but we are confident they will receive the recognition so clearly due them. Deputy Chief Michael J. Bostic Chair, Board of Inquiry Police Administrator II William R. Moran Associate Member, Board of Inquiry Deputy Chief Maurice R. Moore Associate Member, Board of Inquiry Commander Daniel R. Koenig Assistant to the Board of Inquiry ii

6 TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 Background 1 Task Force. 3 Board of Inquiry 5 CHAPTER 2: OFFICER PROFILES 7 Pre-employment Profiles 7 Risk Management Profiles. 11 Conclusions & Insight CHAPTER 3: WORK PRODUCT ANALYSIS Rampart Work Product.. 24 CRASH Units Departmentwide. 36 Specialized Units 43 Conclusions & Insight CHAPTER 4: RAMPART MANAGEMENT AND SUPERVISION. 52 Summary of Findings 55 Detailed Findings.. 65 Culture.. 66 Controls 70 Personnel Management 73 Training 76 Environment. 77 Leadership 79 Review of Documents.. 82 Conclusions & Insight.. 84 CHAPTER 5: RISK MANAGEMENT PROFILE OF RAMPART 87 Grievances.. 88 Vehicular Pursuits.. 88 Less-Than-Lethal Use of Force.. 90 Officer Involved Shootings 92 Personnel Complaints 103 Risk-Management Factors of Profiled Officers. 107 Conclusions & Insight 108

7 TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 6: DEPARTMENT OPERATIONS SYSTEMS 110 Historical Staffing Perspective Current Organizational Structure Field Supervision Administrative Controls 135 Informant Control. 137 Search Warrants 139 Probable Cause Arrest Warrants 140 Arrest Report and Booking Approvals Care and Control of Arrestees 142 Property/Evidence Control. 144 Personnel Evaluations 145 Personnel Selection and Rotation in Specialized Assignments. 146 Field Training. 149 Conclusions & Insight 151 CHAPTER 7: ADMINISTRATIVE INVESTIGATIONS 154 Use of Force 155 Reporting & Investigating Incidents Involving Misconduct Referral to BSS 159 UOF Review Board. 160 Non-UOF Review Board Incidents. 161 Post-OIS Training 161 Quarterly review of UOF Incidents 163 Area Interviews Bureau Review 170 Audit of Reports in Operational Commands Audit of Training Division Reports 173 MSD Audit Outside Agencies. 179 Conclusions & Insight. 180 Vehicle Pursuits 181 Pursuit Policy Administrative Investigation 182 Administrative Review & Area Interviews. 183 Bureau Review Audit of Reports in Operational Commands Audit of Reports Maintained by TCS Pursuit Training Referrals Outside Agency Pursuit Models Conclusions & Insight. 194

8 TABLE OF CONTENTS Fleet Safety 194 Fleet Safety Program. 195 Program Modifications. 196 TCS Tracking of Reports. 198 Area Interviews 199 Bureau Review Audits of Reports in Operational Commands Audit of Reports Maintained by TCS Audit of MTD Vehicle Repair Records 211 Training Referrals 212 Outside Agency Fleet Safety Programs 213 Conclusions & Insight 213 Rampart Management Review System Bureau Review of Administrative Investigations Conclusions & Insight 218 CHAPTER 8: OIS INVESTIGATIVE PROTOCOLS. 221 Historical Perspective 222 Pre-Eulia Love Era 222 Post-Eulia Love. 223 Former Police Commissioners 227 Select City Council Members 240 Retired Federal Judge Davies. 241 ACLU Foundation of Southern California. 242 District Attorney, State Attorney General & U.S. Attorney Los Angeles Police Protective League 248 Scientific Investigation Division. 250 Survey of Other Agencies 253 Conclusions & Insight. 262 CHAPTER 9: CORRUPTION INVESTIGATIVE PROTOCOLS 264 Literature Review. 266 Other Law Enforcement Agencies 268 Prior LAPD Practices 270 Interviews of Key Personnel. 272 Internal External. 280 Major Case Management System. 283 Conclusions & Insight.. 284

9 TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 10: POLICE INTEGRITY SYSTEMS 287 Existing LAPD Integrity Control Systems Directives Addressing Integrity Divisional Integrity Assurance Plans Integrity Control Systems 291 Personnel Integrity Issues. 298 Current LAPD Integrity & Ethics Training Hiring & Screening Practices Related to Integrity Outside Agencies Pre-Employment Psychological Assessment 310 National Best Practices. 312 Internet Research Interviews of Department Employees Perceptions of Interviewers BOI Interview of Interviewers. 323 Interviews of External Stakeholders. 324 Conclusions & Insight CHAPTER 11: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 331 Testing & Screening of Police Officer Candidates (1 12). 332 Personnel Practices (13 21) 334 Personnel Investigations & Management of Risk (22 32). 336 Corruption Investigations (33 43) Operational Controls (44 75). 341 Anti-Corruption Inspections & Audits (76 81) Ethics & Integrity Training Programs (82 88) 349 Job-Specific Training Programs (89 101) Continuing the Board of Inquiry s Work ( ) ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.. 356

10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND In late 1997 and early 1998, three incidents occurred in which Los Angeles Police Officers were identified as suspects in serious criminal activity. The incidents began on November 6, 1997, when three suspects robbed a Los Angeles Bank of America. The investigation into that robbery led to the arrest of Officer David Mack, who was assigned to West Los Angeles Area at the time, and his girlfriend, an employee of the bank. The second incident occurred on February 26,1998, and involved the false imprisonment and beating of a handcuffed arrestee at the Rampart Substation. The officer who beat the suspect was Rampart CRASH Officer Brian Hewitt. Two other CRASH officers, one of whom was Ethan Cohan, were present and acquiesced to the beating. The third incident involved the March 2,1998, theft of three kilograms of cocaine from the Department s Property Division. The investigation into that theft led to the arrest of Officer Rafael Perez, who was assigned to Rampart CRASH. The investigations into these incidents disclosed that the suspect officers were closely associated either as working partners or close friends, and all but one of them were assigned to Rampart Area. The only exception, David Mack, had previously been assigned to Rampart and was a close friend of Rafael Perez. Due to the seriousness of the criminal activity, commonality among the officers and potential for involvement of more Department employees, Chief of Police Bernard C. Parks formed a special criminal Task Force in May 1998 to investigative these incidents. The Bank Robbery On November 6, 1997, at approximately 0920 hours, two suspects entered the Bank of America, 985 West Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles, posing as customers. One of the suspects pulled a gun and confronted Errolyn Romero, the Bank s Customer Service Manager. The suspect walked Romero to the vault area where two other bank employees were working. The suspect pointed his gun at the employees and demanded money that had been delivered earlier by an armored carrier. The suspect then grabbed three plastic bags containing $722,000 and left the bank along with his accomplice. The two suspects ran to a white van driven by a third suspect and escaped before the police arrived. The preliminary investigation conducted by Robbery Homicide Division s Bank Detail disclosed that Errolyn Romero had ordered $722,000 the day before the robbery. Her order was suspicious because it generated a large amount of unnecessary currency in the bank and her order was for unusual denominations. Romero and the other two bank employees who had been confronted by the suspects agreed to take a polygraph examination. On December 9, 1997, the other two employees were examined and showed no deception as to the relevant questions asked. On December 16, 1997, Errolyn Romero took the polygraph examination which showed her to be deceptive. During subsequent interviews, Romero admitted her role in the robbery and 1

11 identified her boyfriend, Officer David Mack, as one of the men who robbed the bank. The LAPD detectives subsequently arrested Mack and Romero for the bank robbery. On December 17, 1997, the case against Mack and Romero was submitted to the Assistant United States Attorney who filed a federal complaint charging Mack and Romero with armed bank robbery. During the follow-up investigation, it was determined that Mack traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada, two days after the robbery. On that trip, he was accompanied by two of his best friends, Officer Rafael Perez and another officer, both of whom were assigned to Rampart Area. Interviews with Perez and the other officer did not provide any pertinent information regarding the bank robbery. However, their interviews would become significant later as Perez own criminal activity came to light. At the time of this report, Officer David Mack has resigned from the LAPD, been convicted of the bank robbery and was sentenced to 14 years and 3 months in federal prison. His girlfriend and accomplice, Errolyn Romero, received a 2½-year sentence in federal prison and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $722,000. The investigation continues into the identification of Officer Mack s other accomplices and location of the bank s money. False Imprisonment and Beating of an Arrestee In the evening of February 26, 1998, Rampart CRASH Officers Brian Hewitt and Daniel Lujan detained two 18 th Street gang members for alleged CYA parole violations. After searching and handcuffing the two men, the officers drove the suspects to their cars several blocks away where they searched both of their vehicles and confiscated some personal property from one vehicle. The officers transported the men to the Rampart Substation and placed them in separate interview rooms. A short time later, Hewitt entered one of the rooms and demanded that the man give him information about gang activity. When the man refused to cooperate, Hewitt choked and beat him until he vomited blood. Lujan and another officer were aware of the beating, but released the man from the Substation without reporting it or providing him with medical treatment. The man subsequently checked into a hospital and the Department was notified of his allegations. A preliminary personnel investigation was conducted during which numerous items of evidence including blood samples from inside the interview room were recovered. Administrative charges were brought against all three officers for the beating and cover-up of the incident. Officers Hewitt and Cohan were eventually terminated at separate Boards of Rights; but, a third Board found the other officer not guilty. (In Los Angeles, a three-member Board of Rights, composed of two staff or command officers and one community member, hears allegations of major misconduct. Each accused officer may select a separate Board and the Chief of Police may impose no greater penalty than the Board recommends.) On two occasions, a criminal filing has been sought against Hewitt, but the case was rejected both times by the District Attorney s Special Investigations Section due to insufficient evidence to convict. The District Attorney s Office is now considering the case for a third time. Criminal filing was also sought from the State Attorney General, but rejected there as well. 2

12 Theft of Cocaine On March 27, 1998, Property Division personnel notified their commanding officer of a problem with three kilograms of cocaine that had been checked out for court. Property Division records showed that an officer had signed out three kilograms of cocaine for court on March 2, When the cocaine or a receipt from the court was not returned to Property Division, a notice was sent to the officer s command. The officer came to Property Division in response to the notice and disavowed any knowledge of the cocaine. The Property Officer who handled the original transaction was working and verified that this was not the same person who had checked out the cocaine. A personnel investigation was initiated and it was soon discovered that there was no reason for the cocaine to be checked out in the first place as the court case had already been adjudicated. An extensive audit of both Property and Scientific Investigation Divisions was conducted to determine if the item was truly missing and if any other items may have been tampered with. This required the auditors to personally inspect over 200,000 items of property and track each item back to the time it was first booked into Property Division. The investigation soon focused on Officer Rafael Perez, who was assigned to Rampart CRASH. Perez had been loaned to narcotics for six months just prior to the theft and knew about the three kilograms of cocaine from that assignment. On August 17, 1998, the District Attorney filed one count of Possession of Cocaine for Sale, one count of Grand Theft, and one count of Forgery against Rafael Perez. The Task Force arrested Perez on August 25, On December 7, 1998, Rafael Perez trial began, but a mistrial was declared when the jury became deadlocked eight to four in favor of a guilty verdict. Re-trial was scheduled for March 30, Investigative efforts during and after the first trial produced evidence that Perez was responsible for additional thefts of cocaine from Property Division. He was also identified as being closely associated with known narcotics dealers and some of his past arrestees claimed that he and his partner had planted evidence on them. One of the known narcotics dealers was eventually identified as having gone to Las Vegas with Perez, Mack and a third officer immediately after Mack s bank robbery. As the evidence mounted, Perez, through his attorney, offered to plead guilty to the charges and cooperate with Task Force detectives in exchange for a reduced prison sentence. Just prior to the scheduled start of the second trial in September 1999, the District Attorney and defense agreed to a reduced prison sentence for Perez in return for his guilty plea and cooperation in providing information to the Department on corruption activities at Rampart. Perez sentencing is being held in abeyance and is contingent upon his truthful cooperation. TASK FORCE STAFFING Prior to the formation of a Task Force, the investigation into these matters was conducted using the Department s regular organizational structure for investigating criminal allegations. In May 1998, these investigations were re-assigned to a Task Force which was assembled to investigate any criminal and significant administrative charges which may arise. Other allegations of misconduct are being investigated by Internal Affairs Group. Due to the nature of the criminal 3

13 activity involved, personnel selected for the Task Force possess a variety of experiences including the investigation of major crimes and police misconduct cases. Task Force staffing levels and Department entities assigned to assist them are as follows: May 1998 When the Task Force was activated, it consisted of eleven officers: a commander, a lieutenant, a sergeant and eight detectives. July 1998 Two additional Detectives I were added bringing the Task Force up to 13 full time personnel. Resources from law enforcement entities outside the LAPD were added for technical assistance and specialized Department entities were assigned specific support missions such as surveillance missions conducted by the Department s Special Investigation Section (SIS), with support from Air Support Division. August 1998 Though the Task Force remained at 13 full-time personnel, significant additional resources were utilized during this period on a mission-specific basis. The SIS detectives continued to support the Task Force with surveillance missions along with IAG s Special Operations Section. Three additional detectives assisted with search warrant service and Metropolitan Division s SWAT personnel assisted in the service of high-risk search warrants. In addition, six detectives and a police officer assisted with various specialized aspects of the investigation. September 1998 After Rafael Perez arrest, four additional detectives were added to the Task Force bringing its strength to 17 officers. September 1999 After Perez began to provide information to the Task Force in September 1999, the Task Force was expanded once again with four additional personnel. As of January 2000, the Task Force is staffed by a commander, a lieutenant, four sergeants, fourteen detectives, and a police officer, for a total of 21full-time personnel. As this case continues to progress, staffing will be adjusted to ensure that a full and complete investigation is conducted into this entire matter. BOARD OF INQUIRY On September 21, 1999, Chief Parks convened a Board of Inquiry (BOI) to assess the totality of the Rampart corruption incident without infringing on the work of the Task Force. The Board consisted of Deputy Chief Michael Bostic, as Chair, Police Administrator II William Moran and Deputy Chief Maurice Moore, Associate Board Members, and Commander Daniel Koenig, Assistant to the Board. The Board was comprised of seven subcommittees and two work groups. 4

14 Each of those entities was chaired by a staff officer who selected his or her own committee staff. This resulted in a cross section of over 300 people becoming involved in the BOI process. Each subcommittee and work group investigated the issues within their area of responsibility and reported their findings to the Board. Following are the subcommittees and work groups and a brief description of their responsibilities. Working Group Profiling the Involved Officers This working group was led by Commander Betty Kelepecz, Personnel Group. This work group developed a complete profile of fourteen officers who were initially identified as possibly involved in this incident. (At the time of this report, no charges have been filed against most of these officers.) This included a thorough examination of the officers pre-employment information as well as their complete work histories. It also included a full review of the Department s hiring standards and process. Their findings are reported in Chapter 2. Subcommittee on Work Product Analysis This subcommittee was chaired by Commander Garrett Zimmon, Transit Group. His subcommittee conducted a complete analysis of the officers prior cases. In addition, they conducted a random sample of other specialized units throughout the Department to determine if similar patterns were present. The findings of this subcommittee are reported in Chapter 3. Subcommittee on Rampart Management and Supervision This subcommittee was chaired by Deputy Chief Carlo Cudio, Operations-South Bureau. Members of this subcommittee interviewed key managers and supervisors who were assigned to Rampart from 1994 to Their mission was to identify Rampart s management and supervisory profile during that period and to determine what, if any, corruption prevention and/or detection systems were in place. This included examining the level of oversight provided by Operations Central Bureau. The findings of this subcommittee are reported in Chapter 4. Working Group on Risk Management Profile of Rampart This working group was led by Commander David Doan, Employee Relations Group. This work group examined an operational command s four primary areas of risk management personnel complaints, uses of force, pursuits and traffic collisions to determine what, if any, patterns existed in Rampart from 1994 through Their findings are reported in Chapter 5. Subcommittee on Department Operations Systems This subcommittee was chaired by Deputy Chief Charles Dinse, Operations-West Bureau. They reviewed the existing management and organizational structure for Areas and geographic bureaus to determine its effectiveness. They also examined the use of specialized units within Area commands as well as operational systems such as evidence control, booking and report approval, search warrant review, informant control, personnel evaluations, supervisory deployment, and management control systems. Their findings are reported in Chapter 6. 5

15 Subcommittee on Administrative Investigations This subcommittee was chaired by Commanders Willie Pannell, Training Group, and Scott LaChasse, Criminal Intelligence Group. This subcommittee was tasked with examining the way in which supervisors prepare and managers review non-disciplinary administrative investigations including uses of force, pursuits and employee-involved traffic collisions. This included existing audit mechanisms designed to ensure the credibility of those reviews. Their findings are reported in Chapter 7. Subcommittee on Officer-Involved Shooting Investigative Protocol This subcommittee was chaired by Commander James McMurray, Internal Affairs Group. This subcommittee s mission was to examine the way in which the Department responds to and investigates (criminally and administratively) all officer-involved shooting incidents including supervisory response, management oversight and evidentiary support. The findings of this subcommittee are reported in Chapter 8 of this report. Subcommittee on Corruption Investigative Protocol This subcommittee was chaired by Commander Margaret York, Detective Services Group. Their mission was to identify a suitable protocol for handling major personnel investigations including cooperation with and notification to other law enforcement agencies, methods to determine breadth and depth of the problem, investigative oversight, and on-going casemanagement review to ensure investigative integrity. Their finding are reported in Chapter 9. Subcommittee on Police Integrity Systems This subcommittee was chaired by Deputy Chief Gregory Berg, Operations-Central Bureau. They conducted an internal review of our existing corruption-prevention systems as well as a nationwide review of corruption-prevention practices to identify the best practices. Their findings are reported in Chapter 10. Conclusions and Recommendations After reviewing the work of the subcommittees and working groups, the Board of Inquiry came to its own conclusions and made recommendations regarding a variety of issues. The Board s conclusions and recommendations are contained in Chapter 11. 6

16 CHAPTER 2 OFFICER PROFILES During Perez initial interviews, he implicated several present and former members of the Rampart CRASH unit in criminal acts and serious acts of misconduct. For this chapter, an employee profile was developed for Perez and thirteen other officers initially identified by Perez. Preparation of these profiles was assigned to Commander Betty Kelepecz, Commanding Officer, Personnel Group. Working with her staff, the following documents were examined: Pre-employment Background Package Pre-employment psychological profiles Department and Divisional Personnel Package Personnel Evaluation Reports TEAMS Reports Personnel Complaints Use of Force Reports Work Permit History Sheets Many of these records are protected under a variety of State and federal laws that prohibit public dissemination of the information they contain. For example, California Penal Code section states, in pertinent part, Peace officer personnel records and records maintained by any state or local agency pursuant to Section [relating to the investigation of internal complaints], or information obtained from those records are confidential. There are narrow exceptions to this law. One such exception allows an agency to disseminate [certain] data if that information is in a form which does not identify the individuals involved. Therefore, the information in this chapter is presented in a generic, summary form. In order to prevent linking events to a particular officer, all references to he may also include she. While names and other identifying information are not provided, the issues that arose in developing these profiles are discussed in detail. It is important to keep in mind that most of these officers have not been charged with misconduct. Therefore, protecting their privacy as well as that of community members whose names appear in some documents is of paramount importance to the Board. PRE-EMPLOYMENT PROFILES Twelve of the officers were males and two were females; six were Caucasian, five were Hispanic, two were Black and one was Asian. One officer had a baccalaureate degree; four had at least two years of college; five had some college, but less than two years; and, four had high school only. Six of the officers had prior military experience, four in the Marine Corps, one in the Army and one in the Air Force. 7

17 Hiring Issues A brief discussion of the City s hiring process for police officer applicants is important to understanding this section. (A more detailed discussion is provided in the Conclusions and Management Insight section at the end of this chapter.) Most applicants to the Los Angeles Police Department are required to pass a written test. The only exception is police specialist applicants who are already peace officers with another department in California. (The written test exemption for college graduates was eliminated in 1986.) Candidates who pass the written test are interviewed by a panel, usually consisting of an LAPD supervisor and an interview specialist from the Personnel Department. Each candidate receives a numeric score for the interview which places him or her on a civil service list. As a candidate s numeric score is approached on a list, the candidate is scheduled for a medical examination, psychological assessment and background investigation. In the background stage, there are nine areas in which a candidate can be disqualified: Employment Record Respect for the Law Honesty Respect for Others Mature Judgment Military Record Financial Record Driving Record Use of Drugs/Intoxicants 1 If no problems arise during the medical, psychological or background screening, the candidate becomes eligible for appointment. If an issue arises, the Police Department may only make a recommendation to the Personnel Department regarding a candidate s suitability to be a police officer. The Personnel Department decides if the information is sufficient to disqualify the candidate and may accept or reject the Police Department s recommendation. In the alternative, the Personnel Department may decide to defer the candidate until additional information can be obtained and/or tests administered. A candidate who is disqualified may appeal his or her disqualification to the Board of Civil Service Commissioners, which makes the final decision. Once Personnel Department approves a candidate for selection, the Police Department has the authority, under the Rule of Three Whole Scores, to select the candidates it believes are most qualified. However, that process has its mathematical limitations with respect to candidates whose recommended disqualification is rejected. Due largely to prior court actions, the City has five civil service hiring selection lists for police officer candidates: Black, Hispanic, female, bilingual Asian/Pacific Islander, and all others. When selecting members of an Academy class, the Police Department has the authority to non-select a maximum of five candidates per list. 1 On January 11, 1991, the Civil Service Commission added Use of Drugs/Intoxicants as a separate (9 th ) category. Prior to that, a candidate s use of drugs and intoxicants was addressed under the category of Mature Judgement. This addition did not alter the hiring standards, but did capture disqualification factors more accurately. 8

18 If there are more than five candidates on a list who have negative background issues but have not been disqualified, the Police Department can either decline to select the five worst candidates and hire the remaining questionable candidates or reduce the class size so that no unacceptable candidate is appointed. Of the 14 officers, four had questionable issues in their pre-employment background which strongly indicate they never should have been hired as Los Angeles Police Officers. Those four officers were hired in 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1994, and three of them have since been fired for felonious conduct. The officer hired in 1988 had been arrested as an adult for grand theft. The incident occurred when he struck a public bus driver during a dispute over a transfer. When the driver's watch fell to the ground, the officer picked it up and began walking away, which resulted in his arrest. The Department did not recommended his disqualification or deselect him under three whole scores. The officer hired in 1989 admitted losing his temper during arguments with his wife and pushing her on six different occasions. He was psychologically deferred due to "temperament/impulse control." However, he was eventually cleared for hiring by the Personnel Department psychologist. The officer hired in 1990 had been arrested three times before he became an officer at the age of 24. As a juvenile, he was arrested for stealing hubcaps. As an adult, he was arrested and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). One year before his hire, he was cited for having an open container of an alcoholic beverage in his car and was arrested for driving on a suspended license (suspended from the earlier DUI) for which he was sentenced to ten days in jail. In the military, he was disciplined for disobeying a lawful order. His background investigation disclosed that he "loses his cool very easily" over minor incidents, and acted like a "big macho man." The psychological examiner advised the Personnel Department that there was not enough negative information to warrant his disqualification. The officer hired in 1994 sold marijuana to two other students on one occasion while he was in high school. At age 15, the police detained him for investigation of tampering with vehicles on a car sales lot. He was taken to the station and released to his parents. Those law enforcement contacts were selfadmitted and nothing on his criminal history printout indicates that he was ever formally arrested. However, there is a notation in the package that All records have been sealed indicating that he may have had a juvenile record that could not be accessed for the background investigation. In any event, the Police Department recommended his disqualification, but it was overturned by the Personnel Department. It is important to note that the July 9, 1991, Report of the Independent (Christopher) Commission, which will be discussed further in the conclusion to this chapter, all but predicted that a weak application of hiring standards was allowing risky candidates to become Los Angeles Police Officers. Psychological Profile The Police Department s Chief Police Psychologist and a representative from the Personnel Department s Occupational Health and Safety Division reviewed the pre-employment psychological data for the profiled officers. Due to issues surrounding medical confidentiality, data specific to any one 9

19 officer could not be revealed in this report. This two-member team reviewed the following material for each profiled officer: Pre-investigative questionnaire and background; Personal history questionnaire and answer sheet; Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) answer sheets; 16 Personality Factor (16PF) answer sheets; and, Background summaries created for the Board of Inquiry In some instances, the personal history questionnaire answer sheets were illegible and one 16PF could not be located. Additionally, it was discovered that the psychologist s interview notes, taken during candidate screenings, are routinely discarded. Without those notes, there was no way for a reviewer to know if critical items were discussed and rendered insignificant based on the candidate s response. In any event, a review of the psychological test data suggests that it was properly interpreted and utilized. No issues of concern were noted. However, several weeks after the Profile Work Group submitted their draft, the Board of Inquiry received a request from Sheldon Kay, Ph.D., Lead Psychologist, Occupational Health Services Division, Personnel Department, to add the following disclaimer to this section of the Board s report: In addition to the fact that the review of the psychological files of the officers did not find anything that indicated that the officers were not psychologically suited for police work, it should be emphasized that the psychological selection process is not designed to identify applicants who might later become corrupt officers. In general, corrupt behavior such as lying, stealing, framing citizens does not signify psychological instability. Instead, such behavior can indicate a breakdown in ethics, the undue influence of peer pressure, or organizational deficiencies. For selection purposes, the best predictor of a propensity to act in unethical ways is the individual s past behavior. That is, how the individual handled ethical choices in the past. To that end, a thorough background investigation is the best method for identifying such individuals. Appointment Dates The following chart shows the fiscal year in which each officer was hired as well as the total number of officers hired within the same fiscal year. 10

20 Hiring Periods Profiled Officers Officers Hired in Same Fiscal Year 1980/81 (1) /87 (1) /89 (2) /90 (3) /93 (1) /94 (2) /95 (3) /96 (1) 1,257 The Department hired 9,827 new officers between July 1, 1980 and June 30, The fewest officers (123) were hired in FY 1985/86 and the most officers (1,257) were hired in FY 1995/96. The average number of officers hired annually, from the oldest to the newest profiled officer (19 year span), is 517; the median is 545. Seven of the profiled officers were hired during three fiscal years of peak hiring. Five of the officers were hired after the Public Safety Plan went into effect in October 1993, but several of them were already in the hiring pipeline at the time. RISK MANAGEMENT PROFILES Personnel Complaints A total of 67 personnel complaints of various types have been made against the profiled officers. Those 67 complaints resulted in 104 individual allegations, of which 6 were Exonerated, 25 Unfounded, 49 Not Resolved and 24 Sustained. Almost half of the 104 allegations were for Unbecoming Conduct and Unauthorized Force, about half of those were classified as Not Resolved. Five of the profiled officers were responsible for two-thirds of the complaints. Three of those five officers are the same officers who had questionable issues in their pre-employment packages and two of those three have been fired for felonious conduct. There is no benchmark which allows a comparison of the profiled officers to a Department average, especially in the areas of personnel complaints and uses of force. Areas, duty assignments and watch hours vary so dramatically in level of activity that legitimate comparison becomes very difficult. However, recognizing that such comparison might prove instructive, Personnel Group will be working with the outside consulting firm hired to evaluate the TEAMS II project to decide how, or if, such a benchmark could be established. Nevertheless, there are patterns to these complaints that should have been recognized and addressed by Rampart management. Those patterns are discussed in the Risk Management Profile of Rampart Area, which is contained in Chapter 5. 11

CENTER ON SENTENCING AND CORRECTIONS. Los Angeles County Jail Overcrowding Reduction Project Final Report: Revised

CENTER ON SENTENCING AND CORRECTIONS. Los Angeles County Jail Overcrowding Reduction Project Final Report: Revised CENTER ON SENTENCING AND CORRECTIONS Los Angeles County Jail Overcrowding Reduction Project Final Report: Revised Vera Institute of Justice September 2011 Executive Summary Los Angeles County (County)

More information


TURNING NECESSITY INTO VIRTUE TURNING NECESSITY INTO VIRTUE Pittsburgh s Experience with a Federal Consent Decree Robert C. Davis Christopher W. Ortiz Nicole J. Henderson Joel Miller Michelle K. Massie Vera Institute of Justice September

More information

Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department

Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division March 4, 2015 TABLE OF CONTENTS I. REPORT SUMMARY... 1 II. BACKGROUND... 6 III. FERGUSON LAW ENFORCEMENT

More information

Eleventh Office of Independent Review Annual Report

Eleventh Office of Independent Review Annual Report Eleventh Office of Independent Review Annual Report Michael J. Gennaco Chief Attorney Robert Miller Julie Ruhlin Deputy Chief Attorneys Cynthia L. Hernandez Angelica A. Samaniego Diana M. Teran Bita Shasty

More information



More information

Policing Los Angeles Under a Consent Decree: The Dynamics of Change at the LAPD

Policing Los Angeles Under a Consent Decree: The Dynamics of Change at the LAPD Policing Los Angeles Under a Consent Decree: The Dynamics of Change at the LAPD Christopher Stone Todd Foglesong Christine M. Cole May 2009 www.hks.harvard.edu/criminaljustice PROGRAM IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

More information

SOURCE: Comstock/Thinkstock.

SOURCE: Comstock/Thinkstock. C H A P T E R 5 Prosecutors SOURCE: Comstock/Thinkstock. Introduction Historical Evolution of the American Prosecutor The Federal Prosecutor State Prosecutors Selection of the Local Prosecuting Attorney

More information

Police and Drugs: A follow-up report

Police and Drugs: A follow-up report Police and Drugs: A follow-up report JUNE 1999 Criminal Justice Commission To promote integrity in the Queensland Public Sector and an effective, fair and accessible criminal justice system Abbreviations

More information

Ventura County Probation Agency Adult Service Master Plan

Ventura County Probation Agency Adult Service Master Plan 86 Gibson Street #9 Templeton, CA 93465 Tel: 805 434 9882 Tel: 888 641 7334 Toll Free Fax: 888 641 7334 Fax 702 346 4376 www.crout-sida-consulting.com Ventura County Probation Agency Adult Service Master

More information

Workplace violence prevention

Workplace violence prevention Introduction Workplace violence prevention A comprehensive guide for employers and employees 1.1 The problem of workplace violence There has been little research conducted and reported that investigates

More information



More information

Evaluation of the San Diego County Community Corrections Programs

Evaluation of the San Diego County Community Corrections Programs JFA Institute Conducting Justice and Corrections Research for Effective Policy Making Evaluation of the San Diego County Community Corrections Programs Prepared by James Austin, Ph.D. Roger Ocker Robert

More information

Reaching the. Age of Majority. A Law-Related Education Project of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation

Reaching the. Age of Majority. A Law-Related Education Project of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation Reaching the Age of Majority Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities A Law-Related Education Project of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation Underwritten by: The Marvin and Virginia Schmid Law-Related Education

More information

Domestic Violence: Best Practices for Law Enforcement s Response. A Model Policy Manual Prepared Under the Violence Against Women Act

Domestic Violence: Best Practices for Law Enforcement s Response. A Model Policy Manual Prepared Under the Violence Against Women Act Best Practices for Law Enforcement Response DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: BEST PRACTICES FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSE A Model Policy Manual Prepared Under the Violence Against Women Act North Carolina Governor s

More information


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9b00e1d614... October 1, 2000 One Bad Cop By LOU CANNON The case that would eventually spark the most damaging scandal in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department began early on the afternoon of Nov. 26, 1996,

More information

Briefing Reports "Auto Body Fraud"

Briefing Reports Auto Body Fraud Briefing Reports "Auto Body Fraud" Introduction "Fraud On Wheels" Table Of Contents Part I--Auto Body Fraud Legislative Considerations/Auto Body Fraud Auto Body Fraud Issues Part II--Auto Insurance Fraud

More information

Colorado Commissions on Judicial Performance

Colorado Commissions on Judicial Performance Colorado Commissions on Judicial Performance 2014 Training Garfield County Courthouse Denver City & County Building El Paso County Courthouse (Historic) Weld County Courthouse Montrose County Courthouse

More information

DoD Independent Review Related to Fort Hood

DoD Independent Review Related to Fort Hood DoD Independent Review Related to Fort Hood Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert M. Gates The Honorable Togo Dennis West, Jr. Co-Chairs Admiral Vern Clark, U.S. Navy (Ret). Board of Advisors Admiral Kirkland

More information

The abcs Of DUI Defense a guide for those arrested

The abcs Of DUI Defense a guide for those arrested The abcs Of DUI Defense a guide for those arrested BY JAMES FARRAGHER CAMPBELL, ESQ. 2008 James Farragher Campbell, Esq., San Francisco, California THOSE IN TROUBLE BEHIND-THE-WHEEL, EXPECT TO SEE SAN

More information



More information

CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY (Superseded February 1, 2007) View the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct (effective February 1, 2007)

CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY (Superseded February 1, 2007) View the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct (effective February 1, 2007) CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY (Superseded February 1, 2007) View the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct (effective February 1, 2007) Preface Canon 1 A Lawyer Should Assist in Maintaining the Integrity

More information



More information

Theft: Criminal Statute 7-104

Theft: Criminal Statute 7-104 Theft: Criminal Statute 7-104 Theft Charges - What do They Mean for You? Being charged with theft is a daunting and scary experience. Sentencing for theft under (less than $1,000) can be up to 90 days

More information

I. Conclusions and Recommendations

I. Conclusions and Recommendations I. Conclusions and Recommendations A. Summary As detailed throughout this report, naturalization processing before CUSA already suffered from systemic weaknesses. INS lacked standards for the consistent

More information

Adopting in the United States

Adopting in the United States Chapter 01 4/16/08 1:37 PM Page 1 C h a p t e r 1 Adopting in the United States Adoption is the permanent legal transfer of full parental rights from one parent or set of parents to another parent or set

More information

Building Trust Between the Police and the Citizens They Serve

Building Trust Between the Police and the Citizens They Serve U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Building Trust Between the Police and the Citizens They Serve COMMUNITY TRUST INTEGRITY HONOR An Internal Affairs Promising Practices

More information

CODE OF CONDUCT. Our reputation and integrity depend upon each of us assuming a personal responsibility for our business conduct.

CODE OF CONDUCT. Our reputation and integrity depend upon each of us assuming a personal responsibility for our business conduct. responsibility CODE OF CONDUCT Our reputation and integrity depend upon each of us assuming a personal responsibility for our business conduct. 02 Letter from Our CEO Dear ConocoPhillips Employees, Our

More information


FLORIDA DEPARTMENT of CORRECTIONS An Equal Opportunity Employer FLORIDA DEPARTMENT of CORRECTIONS Governor CHARLIE CRIST Secretary WALTER A. McNEIL 2601 Blair Stone Road Tallahassee, FL 32399-2500 http://www.dc.state.fl.us Dear Fellow

More information

Crime, Corruption and Cover-ups

Crime, Corruption and Cover-ups Crime, Corruption and Cover-ups in the Chicago Department Anti-Corruption Report Number 7 January 17, 2013 Authored by: John Hagedorn Bart Kmiecik Dick Simpson Thomas J. Gradel Melissa Mouritsen Zmuda

More information

The Drug Treatment Court Concept: The Jamaican Drug Courts

The Drug Treatment Court Concept: The Jamaican Drug Courts Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized 20/2013 Public Disclosure Authorized The Drug Treatment Court Concept: The Jamaican Drug Courts Public Disclosure Authorized Stephane Jackson Haisley

More information