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LAPD Officer Says He Was Demoted After Complaining About Ticket Quotas

Williams said he was told to write 12 citations a day (Photo by Atomic Hot Links via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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An LAPD officer is suing the City of Los Angeles, claiming that he was punished after he complained about having to meet a quota of 12 tickets per day.LAPD Officer Earl Williams filed the suit against the City on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to City News Service. Williams said he was met with retaliation after he complained about a requirement that he write 12 traffic citations a day, noting that ticket quotas violate the state Vehicle Code.

Williams' said his troubles began when he was moved to the Southeast Division in 2014. At the time, he was a Police Officer III, a rank he'd been promoted to back in 1994. It was while working in the Southeast Division that he was told by sergeants that he and other officers must write more tickets—12 each day. In January of 2014, Williams said he was temporarily put on desk duty after he only wrote one ticket on a particular day. He would eventually be put on desk duty two more times that year for writing a low number of tickets.

Finally, Williams said he complained to Capt. Darryl Ito that the ticket quota was illegal. Ito transferred Williams to the West L.A. Division in August, an assignment that added a half an hour to Williams' commute. Here, Williams was also put on desk duty, and Williams' new captain told him that he decided not to put him in the field after a conversation with Ito.

Ito ended up also moving to the West L.A. Division. Williams said that the LAPD has since filed two personnel complaints against him, put him on administrative leave and sent him to Behavioral Science Services, which acts as the department's mental health program. Williams said that Ito used these complains as a reason to demote Williams to Police Officer II in March, and then transferred him again. Williams said in the suit that the complaints were unfounded and he believes them to be retaliation for his whistleblowing.

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Williams is not only seeking damages, but also an injunction that would ban quotas for the LAPD.

If he were to win, Williams would not be the first LAPD officer to be awarded money from the City for the same thing. In 2011, two LAPD officers won $2 million after they said they had been harassed after complaining about ticket quotas. In 2013, Los Angeles shelled out $6 million to a group of LAPD officers who said they were harassed if they did not meet a ticket quota.