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LAPD Officer Accused Of Being Gang Member Impersonating Cop, Lawsuit Says

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LAPD (Photo by John Liu via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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A black LAPD officer is suing the city, alleging that a fellow officer accused him of being a possible gang member impersonating an officer. He says he was then was punished for reporting the incident.

In a suit filed Monday, LAPD Officer Lamark Ferguson says that while he was driving off-duty in South Los Angeles on Aug. 19, 2014, a fellow uniformed officer pulled him over, according to City News Service. Ferguson claims that he told the officer that he was an officer with the LAPD and showed him his department identification and driver's license. His badge and uniform were reportedly in the backseat as well. The suit alleges that the officer told Ferguson that he had to verify his employment because "'the (gang members) down here are known to impersonate LAPD.'"

The officer then let Ferguson go after 20 minutes, only to follow him and pull him over a second time as Ferguson was pulling into the driveway of property that he owned blocks away, the suit claims. Ferguson was then reportedly detained for another 20 minutes while the officer again insisted that he needed to verify his employment. At the time of the second stop, Ferguson contacted his supervisor at the LAPD Hollywood Division to report that he was being harassed because he's black. The officer eventually let him go.

A month later, Ferguson filed a personnel complaint against the other officer, only to find himself temporarily reassigned to another division for administrative traffic duties, according to the suit. Ferguson contends that the LAPD retaliated against him for making the complaint.