All-civilian discipline panels are more lenient with LAPD officers, report finds
By David McBride
19 April 2018
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is using its civilian “superior” court as a vehicle to harass and attack officers charged with misconduct, a report released Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) details.
In a report documenting LAPD civilian discipline proceedings, the ACLU’s Matthew Wiltse, the author of a forthcoming book examining the LAPD’s handling of allegations of officers’ abuse, describes how nearly every disciplinary board has issued orders that do “little more than reiterate or reiterate the same charges that had been found against the officer in prior cases.”
Wiltse, who has a history of exposing misconduct by police throughout the US and Europe, was sent an early draft of the report by a source with knowledge of the matter.
The report, completed in the year after Wiltse’s book, “The War on Cops: The Militarization of the LAPD” was published in the United Kingdom by Zed Books/Haymarket Books, details the disciplinary proceedings of nearly 50 officers, including 15 who were charged with excessive force, for which two officers were awarded cash settlements.
Almost half of the officers Wiltse interviewed, almost all of whom work in the Hollywood division, are part of the “superior” civilian court system and are subject to its strict codes of criminal procedure.
In all, Wiltse details the disciplinary proceedings against 15 officers who were disciplined for the “serious” allegations of excessive force, and who were ordered to undergo a variety of medical and psychological evaluations.
The report provides an unprecedented glimpse into the court system that can be used to intimidate and harass officers in the LAPD’s civilian discipline process, an important weapon against which many of those who work in the agency have sought a remedy.
Almost all of the orders, for example, were directed to the offending officers, regardless of whether any or all of the allegations of misconduct were true.
The report by W