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Criminal Justice

Former LAPD Officer Sentenced To 2 Years' Probation For 2020 Assault

LAPD Chief Michel Moore, in uniform.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore narrated the "Critical Incident Community Briefing" video that included the officers' body cam video as well as a bystander's video of the incident.
(Courtesy LAPD)
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A former LAPD officer has been sentenced to two years’ probation after pleading no contest to a charge that he assaulted a man in Boyle Heights two years ago.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Thursday that ex-officer Frank Hernandez was also sentenced to 80 hours of community service and one year of anger management classes after pleading no contest to felony assault under color of authority.

Bystander video of the April 27, 2020 incident prompted Chief Michel Moore and then-DA Jackie Lacey to describe Hernandez’ actions as “disturbing.”

About two weeks after the incident, the LAPD released body cam video that captures Hernandez and his partner rousting a man from a vacant lot after the owner had called to complain of a couple living there.

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In the video, the man repeatedly taunts the officer with expletives as he leaves the lot and walks down a sidewalk.

Hernandez eventually stops the man and starts to handcuff him. As he’s doing so, Hernandez says, “Don’t fight, you’re fighting,” and then suddenly starts punching the man, who does not resist. As the pummeling continues, a woman in a nearby house is heard telling Hernandez’s partner that she needs to calm him down. “I know,” the woman officer, who has not been identified, says.

Hernandez punched the man more than a dozen times in the head, neck and body, according to the DA.

On the video, as backup arrives, Hernandez says to the man, “You (expletive) grabbed my hand. That’s why I hit you.” The man replies, “I didn’t grab (expletive).”

“Wearing a badge does not give an officer the right to use unreasonable and excessive force,” Gascón said in a statement. “When this happens, it erodes trust in the community and can impact our collective safety. My office will continue to hold officers accountable when they break the law.”

Hernandez was placed on administrative leave following the incident, and he was “separated from [the] Department in May 2021,” according to LAPD Sgt. Bruce Borihanh.

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