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State Will Conduct Its Own Investigation Into The LAPD Gang Database Scandal

Attorney General Xavier Becerra. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is getting in on the investigation of LAPD officers who falsified data from traffic stops to bolster the number of people they identified as gang members.

He told reporters in L.A. Monday that the state Department of Justice will conduct an “independent audit and validation” of entries made in the state gang database by LAPD officers.

The scandal centers on traffic stops conducted by the elite Metropolitan Division in South L.A. The officers are suspected of altering the information on field interview cards to make it appear that the individual who was stopped belonged to a gang.

The Los Angeles Times first broke the story last month. The administrative investigation quickly expanded into a criminal one.

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Chief Michel Moore has already moved to fire one officer. The department has assigned 10 officers to home and suspended their police powers. Moore said another 10 were removed from the street because investigators were trying to determine whether their reports contained “inaccuracies or falsehoods.”

A 2017 state law gives Becerra’s office oversight over the gang database, known as CalGang. In a letter to Moore, Becerra said the review will not be limited to entries made by Metro Division officers.