LAPD Chief Moves To Fire Officer Over Falsely Identifying People As Gang Members

LAPD Chief Michel Moore. (Signe Larsen/LAist/KPCC)

LAPD Chief Michel Moore is moving to fire an officer for altering reports of field interviews to falsely accuse people of belonging to gangs.

In a statement, the department said Moore concluded that the unnamed officers' actions were "a serious violation of Department Policy," and that besides starting the process of terminating the officer, he has also presented the case to prosecutors for possible criminal charges.

The two other officers involved in the falsification of field interview cards remain assigned to home pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation, according to the statement.

A number of officers are under investigation. Department officials said the incidents under investigation took place in the San Fernando Valley early last year.

Besides stressing his commitment to a "thorough examination" of the situation, Moore wants to know "what organizational issues or motivations may have influenced this behavior," the statement said.

According to the Los Angeles Times, which first broke the story, officers may have felt pressure to crack down on gangs by identifying or arresting members following an expansion of the Metropolitan division meant to target guns and gang activity.

The LAPD is putting "additional safeguards" in place to ensure the accuracy of officers' field interviews, including "elevating the supervisory review and approval of gang field identification cards" and "elevating the appeals process" for those who believe they were wrongly identified as gang members.

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