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Blue Ribbon POIul Choir Additiolwl Stoff


Constance L. Rice Kenneth Berland
Rant.part Review
Jenna Cobb
Panel POIul Members John Mathews
Jan L. Handzlik Pilar Mendoza
Laurie L. Levenson Margaret Middleton
Stephen A. Mansfield Natasha Saggar
Carol A Sobel Rishi Sahgal
Edgar Hugh Twine Regina Tuohy

POIul Members Emeriti


Erwin Chemerinsky
Andrea Ordin
Maurice Suh

Executive Director
Kathleen Sal vary

Lead Investigator
Brent A. Braun

Additional!nvestigators
Eusebio Benavidez
Morris D. Hayes
Jack Keller
Pete McGuire
Michael Wolf
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Special Hon.James K.Hahn Linder & Associates Gerald Chaleff Hon. Jack Weiss
Thanks Warren M. Christopher Hon. Debra W. Yang
Los Angeles Police Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Roberta Yang
Foundation Hon. Steve Cooley Gregory A. Yates
Akin Gump Strauss
I-Iauer & Feld LLP Los Angeles City David S. Cunningham III
Personnel Depanment Hon. Rockard j. Delgadillo All ofthe dedicated
Burke, Williams Donna Denning LAPD officers and
& Sorenson, LLP Technicalllueat Richard E. Drooyan employees ~'ho gave
Analysis Group, Inc. Paul Enox their time mId insight
Gibson, Dunn Shelley Freeman to this Panel in
& Crutcher LLP James j. Fyfe order to improtle
Bonifacio Bonny Garcia the departmetlt.
Howrey LLP
LAPD Office of the Michael j. Gennaco
Lindahl, Sclmabel, Inspector General Gigi Gordon
Kardassakis & Beck LLP Michael P.Judge
Latin American Law E. Richard Larson
Nossaman Gurhner Enforcement Association Barrett S. Litt
Knox Elliott LLP John Mack
Law Enforcement
Association of Asian Pacifics Cheryl White Mason
O'Meiveny & Meyers LLP Winston K. McKesson
Los Angeles Police Hon. Cindy Miscikowski
Orrick, Herrington
Protective League Rose M. Dchi
& Sutcliffe LLP
Anthony Pacheco
Oscar J oel Bryant R. Samuel Paz
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky
Foundation Ramon L. Quintana
& Walker LLP
Gilbert TRay
Sidley Austin LLP Hon. Ed P. Reyes
Chief William j. Bratton Lael Rubin
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Anthony Asad ullah Samad
Meagher & Flom LLP Alex Sanchez
Corina Alarcon Silvia Saucedo
The James Irvine
Hon. Lee Baca Alan j. Skobin
Foundation
Andre Birotte,Jr. Michael j. Strumwasser
Merrick Bobb Richard Tefank
Rick j. Caruso Karen Wagener
Sam uel Walker
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This report is dedicated iJl memoriam to Edgar Hugh TwiJle


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Contents
I Introduction 18 Conclusion 11.2.
TIl' 'Tnin Blu, Lin," Modr/ Suds ProoctM Poliring tnot Dr/Mrs
9 The Road Ahead Contnimnent and Suppl7ssion of Violena in High Crim, Al7os, but Not
Public Sofety
9 I. THE RAMPART RECOVERY
19 Conclusion 11.3.
12 Conclusion 1.1.
Aggll!SsM, Untorgeted ProoetiVt! Poliang Dutroys Publie-Poli« Trust
T/It New Rampart Lrodrrsnip ond Crime Fighting A/odrl Would HoVf:
Prroented CRASH A/iscondudfrom Metastasizing into 0 Crisis 20 Conclusion 11.4.
Th, City Beors Ruponsibility for Foiling to Provid, Ruourrzs
13 Conclusion 1.2.
for a Cifyalide Public Safety Model
The N_ Rampart Lmdership ondCrime Fighting Alodel Hod the
F ol//jf",ing Kq Attributes 20 Conclusion 11.5.
Tne City Has Failed to Heed tile 40· Year·OId MtCone Commission
13 Conclusion 1.3.
Worning to Fix tn, "SicJn= in tn, Center of Our City" tnot Fuels
Tlu New Rampart Lrodrrship ond Crime Fighting A/odrl Hod
Public·Poliu Friction ond Riots
tlte Following undership Quolities
21 Conclusion 11.6.
14 Conclusion 1.4.
Public and Private Institutions Have Not Done Enougn to Stabilize
The New Rampart Lmdership ondCrime Fighting Model Hod
Distl7sSM Communiti,s
the Fol/(J(,,,ing Conditions Pll!Udrot
22 Conclusion 11.7.
15 Conclusion 1.5.
Communitiu ond Fomiliu Hen;, l\'ot Don, Enougn to Confront
TIre New Rampart lLndo-ship and Crime Fighting Mode/Is Not
ond Counter tne Culture of Violrnu ond Drstruction Otxrtol:ing Somt
tlte Norm Throughout LAPD
Poor N,ig/lborilOods
15 Conclusion 1.6.
22 Recommendation 11.1.
The New RBmporf Leadership ondCrime Fighting Model Is Unlikely to Lost
In OrdfftO Inel70u Trust and Publie·Polia Coopffotion, LAPD Snould
16 II. EXTERNAL BARRIERS TO REPLICATING THE Transition from ProoctMISuppression Poliring to tnt Hign Rood Poliring
RAMPART TRANSrORMATION DemonstraUd in tile Rnmpdft Division TUl7loround

17 Conclusion 11.1. 23 Recommendation 11.2.


Los Angel,s Has An Undff·l7sourad, "Thin BIIM Lin," Poliang Model Tn, City and LAPD Snould End "Tnin Blu, Lin," Poliangond Develop
o Blu,print for Funding ond Providing CityfJI:id, Public Sofety
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23 Recommendation 11.3. 35 Conclusion 111.7.


The City Should Fulfill the McCone Commission Mandate to End The Office of Inspector Generalis the Only LAPD Entity f,I:ith
"The Spiml of Failul1!" that Seeds Public-Police Conflict the Potential Capacity to Effectively Enforce LAPD Accountability
ooer the Long Term
23 Recommendation 11.4.
Public and Privote Institutions Must Find and Fund Mon Effective 35 Conclusion 111.8.
Solutions for Improving Conditions in Poor, High Crime Communities The OIG Currently Operates Under Constraints that Prevent It
from Functioning as the Potent ChteJ It Should Be
23 Recommendation 11.5.
Residents of High Crime Communities Must TaJe Responsibility for 36 Conclusion 111.9.
and Receive Resources Needed to Counter the Cultul1! of Violence Discipline Decisions by the Chief of Police An Important Tools for
Implementing the PolicingShofJI:cased by the New Rampart Model
24 III. THE INTERNAL BARRIERS TO REPLICATING THE
RAMPART TRANSFORMATION: CHANGES NEEDED IN 37 Conclusion 111.10.
LAPD EVEN IF THE EXTERNAL BARRIERS REMAIN The Federal Court and the Consent Decree Are Central to Department
Advancement and Tmnsformation
24 Conclusion 111.1.
Current &forms, While Significant, An Not Sufficient to Prevent 38 Recommendation 111.1.
COrniption Recurrence, Fix Longstanding Problems or TaJe the Rampart LAPD Leoden Nud to Forge a Cleor Consensus among Officen
Tronsformation Department.fJI:ide to Permanently Tmnsition to the High Rond Policing Sho'lJ.1ca~d in
Rampart Division Turnaround
25 Conclusion 111.2.
Supervision Has Improved in Specific Divisions but Not Sufficiently 39 Recommendation 111.2.
to Prevent Scandal Recurrence The Police Commission Should Significantly Expand the Indq>cndence
and &sources ofthe Inspector Geneml
27 Conclusion 111.3.
Im;estigation Quality Has ImpfVf)ed Significantly, but Remains Uneven 39 Recommendation 111.3.
LAPD uaders Should Continue to U~ Discipline as a Tool for
27 Conclusion 111.4. Implementing the PolicingShofJI:cased by the New Rampart Model
Cultuml Factors that Contributed to the CRASH Mindset Remain
39 Recommendation 111.4.
30 Conclusion 111.5. Federal Court Enforcement of the ConSOlt Deem! Should Continue
In Addition to Internal Barriers Po~d by Unresolved Problems the Current Focus on Achieving "Real Reform" to Remedy the Underlying
Stemmingfrom the CRASH Scandal, Deeper Cultuml Dynamics within Causes of the CRASH Crisis
LAPD also BlocJ Solutions to LAPD's Longstanding Problems
40 Recommendation 111.5.
34 Conclusion 111.6. An Expedited Joint Action TasJforce Should Chart Actions Needed to Mooe
LAPD Can Fix Itself When Change Agent Officers Drive the LAPD to High Road Policing
Tronsformation Process
task force Running Page #8
......p"'"a--....._c III
board of inquiry
blue ribbon committee

46 The Road Behia.d 54 Conclusion 1.9.


UPD's Nomport Tosi Forre Foiletl 10 Desigll 011 l/lvl'SIigalioll
50 I. LAPD Approprioteforo Compla. 1l/l/lJi-lkfmrlonl Polia Corf71ptio/l Ca.Je

50 Conclusion I. 1. 54 Conclusion 1.10.


UPD IJmltrS K",.,
of Rmgadr Po/mIlK, ExcIJunx of DI'JIgCn'fus, As 1M Romport TosJ Fora GTnIJ, AlolI] IIItXSligalofY Did Not HI1fJl!
i" Romport DiWio" o"d its CRASH GO"K V"it Y'OfY 840rr CRitSH Adl'f{lIlIleSiills and Experielf« to COlldlld Imlesh"galio"s into 0 Compln
Crisis ErlIptl'fi PoI'-'e COfTllpriOIl &011001

50 Conclusion 1.2. 54 Conclusion 1.11_


OtMrCRrlSH U"its Had Sillfilor RI'IIl'gad, SlIblts UPD Foiktl to Ampr Ca.Je !UspotuiIJility /() 0", I,,'mirillal all' Uyd
a Tl'OlII AppT"DlKl J101 DiI"tn/ PoaIS. J);rr<ho" tUuJ Rmtlts
50 Conclusion 1.3.
UPD IJadtrS Did Not rltll'f{lIlIleJ, rlrlrlrus SP«if/£ WOfll'iqr of 55 Conclusion 1.12.
II/,gol Polia"g Tactics by Romport CRASH Offian 1Jtf0rr tk &OIuial In Conolldi"g tk PoJ,.grop.f &omi"oliolf of Rofael Ptrn. UPD's
Erwpml P"hlidy PoIJUophr Elllp/OJeo f"l0PUi Tl'l'II"iqlll's llal U.tI".",i.,tI Iii' l'olidi"
of till' &olll;"atio.
51 Conclusion 1.4.
Prrzll'nrilOlio" 0"0 Co"Pkts of 1"ll'rrsl U"rlumilld Eff«tWe 55 Conclusion 1.13.
SII/~roisjo" and Arrollntability in Romport Division UPDs Poi/,," 10 Offer rldmi.isJraIM 1",,,,lIIIi,, Limit"" Effl'CTiwttl'SS
ofllIfmligatio"s
51 Conclusion 1.5.
IVllistlNJlOfan IVllo Inll'rapleJ anti Cllallmgtri Romport CRASH Offiun 56 Conclusion 1.14.
We" Pl/niWo or Igllo"rI Co.pirts of 1.lensl U.denlfi.ed lit, [,nmtigaliolls

52 Conclusion 1.6. 56 Conclusion L15.


Evide"aCOlltrols Lorhrl rld~lIo" Sof~onls to Pmxwt TII,ft UPD FO£lmd D;sproport;onat"] 0" P"TS";,,g ,It,
Boorrl of1"I/II;ry
0I1d Atlmi/1islrolnx IlfVl!SligolioltS 10 lite o,lrimt,,1 of Cnm;lIal IlfVl!SlignlioltS
63 Conclusion I. 7.
LAPD Paikd to Appronrll 1M IIIfJl!Stigotioll of DfJlg Thl'ft 57 Conclusion 1.16.
os 0 Polia COfTllplion Cosl'1I:'iln Syslnnic Implicolions The Drportme/1I'S Disproportio/10le F«lIs 0/1 P"TS"illg Atlm;lI;stm1;W Cases
Ruoltrrl;n Contom;notion of Crim;nol Invtltigations
63 Conclusion 1.8.
[,l(e1"1l01 uols JroporrliZl'd Ihl' InfJl!SJigotion of Rofod Pun 58 Conclusion 1.17.
Nost LAPD Romport Tosk POfT'e IntmtigotofY Ditl a Profrss;olltll Job
Invest;got;ng Perez' Allegations of Polite M;sconrlul'I, Despite Clt/ll/enges
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58 Conclusion 1.18. 66 Recommendation 1.1.


A Small Il/umMr of LAPD lnustigoton on tne Rampart Task Forcr The Deportment Should Not Ignon Early Indicoton of Larger Problems
Undrrminrd tne Criminall1f!)estigations
66 Recommendation 1.2.
59 Conclusion 1.19. Develop Conflicts of Interest Policy
Tne Laci of Cooperation bet~,«n LAPD and tne DA's Office Hindered
Progress in the Investigations 66 Recommendation 1.3.
Implement Anti·&toliation and Wnistleblower Protections
60 Conclusion 1.20.
Many Brlieve that j usticr Was II/ot Served 66 Recommendation 1.4.
Dedicate Additional &sources to Protecting Evidence Stomge Facilities
60 Conclusion 1.21.
Conflicts of Intenst Ron througn the Boord of Inquiry 67 Recommendation 1.5.
Develop Protocol for Investigating Serious Police Misconduct Case
61 Conclusion 1.22. as Police COfTUption Cases fJI,itn Systemic Implications
The Boord of Inquiry Report Omitted Critical Information in
Its Discussion of Pcrsonnel and Hiring 67 Recommendation 1.6.
LAPD Should Tmnsfrr Investigation of the Next La~ Corruption
61 Conclusion 1.23. Crisis over to a Properly Resourced, Independent, Multi.Agency
"Affirmative Action" Did Not Cause tne Rampart CRASH Crisis l1f!)estigation Force

62 Conclusion 1.24. 67 Recommendation 1.7.


Tne Boom of Inquiry Limitcd l1f!)estigations into tne Extcnt of Misconduct Prioritize Criminall1f!)estigations

62 Conclusion 1.25. 67 Recommendation 1.8.


LAPD Foiled to Issue Follow Up Reports on Incomplete lnustigotion Anos Drjrr Conducting Internal AnolySfl, sucn as the Boord of Inquiry,
Until Criminollnustigotions An Lorgrly Completrd
62 Conclusion 1.26.
LAPD Foiled to Fulfill Its Commitment to Produce on After-Action 67 Recommendation 1.9.
&porton tire CRASH Crisis When Conducting on Internal Analysis ofa Lorge.Scole Corruption Crisis,
tne Department Snould Conduct an Unlimitrd Assessment of Systems and
63 Conclusion 1.27. Should Bring in Outside Experts
LAPD Cannot Provide an Acceptable Explanationfor tire Failure
to Produce tire Aftrr.Action Report 68 Recommendation 1.10.
Product a Thorougn and Cndible After.Action Reportfor Public Distribution
64 Conclusion 1.28.
The Rampart Refotrd Booms of Riglrts Largely Foilrd 68 Recommendation 1.11.
The Curnnt Boards of Rights System Should Be Replorrd
65 Conclusion 1.29.
LAPD Foilrd in its Attempt to lnustigote Itzlf in Connection
~,itn the Rampart CRASH Crisis
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",,,,p"""'_ _ C_''''. V

68 II. PROSECUTORIAL AGENCIES 73 Conclusion II.11.


Th COllltlJ's CNil GraltdJilT] Fuikd 10 Prodll<t Olt AsstSSMtlrI
68 Conclusion 11.1. oftilt CRASH Cnsis
AI IAt Tilllt oflAt CRASH Crisis, 1M DA i Offiu IVaI NoIS.jfItitIlIIJ
Proaehw ilt ils ApproacA locard Polia COlT1lpliolt i. LIn it-gdts CoulJ 74 Conclusion 11.12.
TIlt Dlt 's Offia Did Nol Crmdlld a"J {Jduiltd Assess",nrl
69 Conclusion 11.2. ofirs JUsPOtlSllo Jk CRASH COrnlptio" &o"dol
TAt D." i Offta Did Not M'fIll1It1J Slaff 1M RHD TosJ Foru Prior
10 Ptrn' Dist/oSlIn of IVidtsprtmf Corr.ptio. 74 Conclusion II.13.
TAe U.s.llllonrq's O/fia i" LIn A,,~lts Has Histori<ol" ApproachJ
69 Conclusion 11.3. Polia AlisaJ"dlld Cogs as /St1loltd Cosn dol Caw St Addl"tSSNi eiJlJ
TAt DA i Offia's d'uJ Nol Adtqlll1ltly Sloffo.d S.pm;ist IAt Tria/, Tromlioltol hnxsrigotirN oltd Prvstullorial JIIuu"rrs
Pita 01111 Sdstq_1 },'tnTogtlhOtlS of RBfad Pnn
75 Conclusion II.14.
70 Conclusion 11.4. TAt U.s. AlIonrq's O/fia Did Nol Devise a Coonli"old, JII./ti'."rq
TAe IlIltrrogorioll Prouss of hra Was FJa-J SrroltfD 10 AddrtSS 1M CRASH Crisis

71 Conclusion 11.5. 75 Conclusion II.15.


7k DA i Offitt 1V0ntnf Oilier" 10 Drodop II Fair SllIIulard I"iliol", Iltt LIn Attgdts U.S. AIIo,...tJs Offitt Did 1I00I:.JfKtivdy
ftlr DtltrMiltiltg cAtlAtr CtlJtVirtitlJlS SAtlMId SllIttd Co",,,,.,,iealt or Coorrli"olt cillt Iltt Los Attgt/ts CO/lltlJ DA's OjflCt

71 Conclusion 11.6. 76 Conclusion 11.16.


IlItlllhtrl tlf 1M Dil 's Offiu RNall F«littg Ovu~Atlmtd A Sig.jflCa" Gap Erists 1N1c«. Ito&:> Crimi.ol Dtfrllst Illlo,...tJ
hy JkScllkoflhCRASH Crisis ultd Prostnllors Ptrrmx Iltt LIn AJtgt'1n Crimi"ol SJsum lVontittg

71 Conclusion 11.7. 77 Conclusion 11.17.


TAt DIl 's Spuial Prost.t:Mliolt Ttnm 1I'0nt&1 Hard itt Cltalltttgittg TAe DA 's Eslablisltmtttl of 0 Brody Complim,ct Dn;isio. a"d Dalnbast,
Environmtnllo PursUt CostS Tltf!)' Tltoug/tl Viuble IVltilt Commendablt, WOIlId nOlldtntih AllleA of Iltt Jl/iseo"du£t at Issut
in lilt CRASH Crisis
72 Conclusion 11.8.
AlulIY ProSKulion TtIIm Aftmlxrs Rt.t:1I11u1 Bt'ing VnucCl/slomtd 78 Conclusion 11.18.
10 lilt CllUlkngts of Prosn:uting Polia Offiars Institutions of Tltt Los Angtln Criminal Jllstire Syslem Do NOI HarM
Suffidmtly Rohnsl CItt.t:Js and InltrVt'nlions 011 Polict Ptrjury alld
72 Conclusion 11.9.
Misrondurl
s
7'lu DA Office Did Nol ApIMar 10 Adequaldy Consider lite Mtllls
0/ Tuntillg rlttsf' Cases OVff to all IlIdtpmdmt Pro=tillg Agmcy 78 Recommendation 11.1.
Conducl nn Analysis ofthe Inltgrity 0/ the Los Angtlts COllnty
72 Conclusion 11.10.
Criminnl Justice Systnll
Tht DA's O//ice Did Not Follow Up 011 All 0/ Pert~' Alltgati01ls,
in port OteuMSII LAPD Did Nol Submil Full Submissions
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79 Recommendation 11.2.
Prosecutor! Should Develop Mort Robust Checks and IntefUntions
on Police Perjury and Miscondut:t

79 Recommendation 11.3.
ProslXutorial Agencies Should Improve Inter-Agency Coordination

79 Recommendation 11.4.
A Standing Task Foree Should Be Created ~,ith Federal and Local

Authorities to Coordinate Investigation of Police Corruption Case

80 Recommendation 11.5.
Proseeutorial Agrneies Should Improve Trainingfor Handling
Police Corruption Cases

80 Recommendation 11.6.
Federal ProSIXutOrs Should Be Prepared to Handle Local Police Misconduct
Cases ~,ithout Being Gvuly Reliant on DOl Washington

80 Recommendation 11.7.
The LAPD and the City Attorney's Offict Should Improve Information
Disclosure Proasses

81 Actions and Solutions

82 Aftcl'notcs

Appendices included in separate document


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Int..oduction signaled open season on gangs [Q :l reneg:lcle anti-gang unie It


happened because a clique within that :lIlti-g:lllg unil went beyond
its "'gunslinger" mentality and gangster l:Jctics to become gangsters
The CRASH Crisis and Its Aftermath themselves. It happened bec-.mse fear of CRASH rogues and the
code of silence licensed officers who were aware of CRASH
In 1999. allegations by a convicted former Los Angeles Police brutality to look dle odler way. It happened because LAPD's
Dcpanmcnr Rampan CRASH 1 officer of widespread polie<:: abuse "'culrure of warM severely discounts the human worth of gang
:lOd corruption exploded inro Los Angeles headlines. The members and orher suspects to the point of sanctioning brutality.'
chargC5-l:h:u beyond his own drug crimes. he and dozens offcllow It happened because LAPD brass. the Police Commission, the City
officers com mined routine framing, evidence planting and fabrica- Council, the District Anomey, federal authorities and the couns
lion. perjury, and brutality-swept the City and the department failed to heed decades of warnings to change that police culture and
into -one of the WOnil police scandals in American hislory."l The the City's policing paradigm. And \\ithout the inept oversight of
scandal was not simply that a few corrupt officers had stolen dmgs these same institutions, none of LAPO's systems failures in lcader-
and frJrncd suspects---percnnial risks that all police dCIYJttmcnts ship,supcn·ision, accountability and management would have been
face. It was the scale of the abuses, if eyen by a few. the impunity possible.
with which they acted, and the co"cr afforded their crimes by the
dcpanmcms cu]rurcand rhe City's long csublishcd inability to c.xert In short, the CRASH crisis did not happen because a few LAPD
conuol O'"er LAPD. The CRASH crisis torpedoed the imegrityof rogues stole drugs. It happened because the Los Angeles criminal
the entire Los Angeles criminal justice system and placed LAPD justice system's anemic checks on police :lbuse :lnd LAP D's feeble
under the jurisdiction of a federul court and the Consent Dceree. J constraints on its "'warrior policing" f:liled actoss the board.
One elected official nored the groniry of the corruption as Ma dagger
:limed:n the heart of constirutional democmcy.M' The Context For This Report

How did it happen? This report is the btest in a long line of tomes :lboUl this City's
century-old struggle widl its police department and public safety.
111e CRASH crisis happened because burned out and feuding AS:ln analysis of a crisis, it necessarily focuses on failures-and nor
supervisors in Rampart Division Hopped doing their jobs: weak just in LAPD but in se\·eroll
supen-isars ignored early warnings: corrupt supervisors silenced orher criminal justice institu-
tions as wen. It should nor, Since joining [LAPU]...I hav' heen
whistleblowers-and then removed the good supelVisors who tried
to restrain mmpant misconduct by \".\Unted "hard ch;lrgers" in however, be misread as a focused on one job: rnhui~ing ... Dust
CRASI-!. It happened because LAPD le.lders in P;lrker Center condemnation of department between tAPO and the communrties rt
either ignored warnings or were clueless, and because Centr.d leaders, officers, command is sworn to protect and serve. while at
Bureau leaders, who nicknamed Rampart '''lbrnp<lge' Division" staff, union leaders or civil-
l;lns. On the contrary-
the same time rebuilding trust between
years before the scandal, dismissed pleas for help. It happened
because division bosses steeped in a police "culture of war"l Chief Br:mon and the Police officers and their department
responded to intense political pressure to cou ntcr a en me \\"Jve and Commission insisted on this l1Iilll Willilll J.ltlllll
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re\'iew, and scores of LAPD staff and union Icadcrs offered Tbis rcpon is about [h:1[ fork in [he road. :md [he roadmap [Q "high
unflinching criticism of [hemselves md [he dqlJrtmenl in hopes road" public safely-a fnme\\'ork [hal provides bener eondi[ions
Iha[ [his repon will lead [Q [he deeper changes Ihey bclic\'e arc for officers, bener insurance againsl corruplion and brul3li[y and.
needed. Indeed. [his repon affirms [he delY.U1menl's considerable for [he first [ime, cilywide public safe[y and public-police coopera-
ad\"'<lnccs and confirms [he conclusions of key LAP!) leaders [hal [ion. The good news is [hal [he fedeml Conscm Decree and [he
eurrem rcco\'ery and reform efforts are good. bUI insuffieiem [Q Chief's PIon ofAction forth Los Anwles Tltotls and tire Los Angeles
lock in recem successes. pre\'em anmher CRASH crisis. or resolve TIJol Could Be offer !he basic plol-scan for such a map. Even beller
LA PO's other longs[anding problems [hal block closing Ihe public- news is [hal officers who [rJnsfonned Rampan Oi\'ision ha\'e
police nusl gap in high crime areas. Wilhout Ihe drive of LAPO shown [he depanmem how 10 achieve high road policing that
leaders from command, rank and file, retired offICers and police [hwarn corruption and gener.Hes community IrUSI.
unions, this opportunity [Q forrify the reform agenda would not
exist. If this depanmem e\'er finds its way fO fighting crime while Overview of the Recovery
winning trust-"free of corruption, mas and brut:llity"7-it will be
because these offICers and LAPD's current leadership cared more The City's reco\'ery from the scandal is still unfolding. LAP D's
about digging deeper [Q finally "get it right" than the politiC'JI costs current achicyements o\'ershadow failures associated with the
of doing so. Rampan CRASH crisls but do nor erJSe [hem or the need to heed
their lessons. Alter sc\'eral scandal-related criminal trials and pleas,
Seven Years Later: At the Crossroads mul[iple LAPD iR\'cs[igations
and four major repons, [he The real ~ory about Rampart is
Seven years af[er [hc CRASH crisis, [hc City of Angcls and irs scope of CRASH corruption
that no ooe really knows. Iknow
police depanmen[ are a[ a crossroads. The direction chosen will remains unknown. PriorreporlS
determine whether [he Los Angeles criminal justice system fully provide excellen[ accounts of people ~ill on this joh that were part
recovers from [he CRASH crisis or simply moves beyond il umil what was known about of this crew. The iJvestigatil.. WI!Ie
Ihe next SC'.lndal. As [he Chief of Police puts it: Rampan CRASH ae[ions and hotched so emy on, and the guys on
which systems and manage- Pele" aew sat dow. illt at ~ast
We are a[ the fork in the road where we can now lake the high mem failures left the corrup-
fOild and impro\'e our relationships with clle people we SCf\'e tion underecred for so long.
one or two are still working, The
r.ither than cominue the practices that lead to tension and Bur no public emity con- ilVestiJatillls were ootthed so hadly
mistrust. It is not enough ro continue to dri\'e crime down, we ducted an indepcndem in\'esti- hy IA .. , Now [PSB] wouldn't botch
must at the same time, through compassionate and constitutional gatlon with the capaCIty, [the ilVestigations 1o,
thatl.. They
policing practices, improve the relationship between the police authority and resources to
definiti\'Cly \'et the extent of
wouldn't tell Perez' sergeant that
:md the public we sen'e. T1Iis is particularly true in our poorest
:md most disadvantaged neighborhoods. It won'l be easy. It's the CRASH corruption or its they're following him, Th,y WDuldn't
h:lrd work, but if we keep trying, I belie\'e the role oflhe police causes.' Whether due to inad- have shown [Porol] alist of cops and
will evolve from distanced protec[Qr and rapid responder to a vertence, incompetence, and/ say 'identify th, bad cops:
true partner and catalyst for meaningful social clwngc.'·' or intent, LAPD did not design
lAPO 0"aM, .11 fill 25 ,., • illl:l
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investigations capable of determining the scope of the scandal, and • Cultural Drivers of the Scandal (e.g., LAPD's codes of silence,
investigations by other entities, including this Panel, were too loyalty and retaliation against whistleblowers, prosecutorial
lim ited to do so. Indeed, if obscuring the extent of the corruption offices' passive role in checking police miscond uet)
were the goal, it is hard to imagine a better game plan. For the • Systems Failures (e.g., plea bargaining machinery that can
many LAPD officers, Police Commissioners, district attorneys and result in the conviction of the innocent)
others who were genuinely pushing to establish the truth, the fail-
ures to define the corruption and establish its extent arc the most While current LAPD leaders arc achieving significant advances in
serious fa ilings of the City's post-scandal response. many important areas, progress in these areas associated with the
scandal is uneven. In 2006, actions required by the Consent
These f.lilures preclude consensus on what the CRASH crisis was Decree and clear mandates from LAP D's top leaders have made
or means, with the predictable result that the scandal tnggers as the drug crimes and brutality associated with the scandal much
many viewpoints and definitions as a Rorschach test. harder to commit with the impunity of CRASH offenders.
Astonishing pmctices that shielded CRASH crimes seven years
The Rampart Rorschach Test: ago-like officers phoning in orders of cocaine evidence for
Defining The Scandal delivery to their divisions like a pizza-arc gone. And due to stings
by Professional Standards Bureau ("PSB"), Inspector General
To the dismay of officers who have worked hard since the crisis to audits, effective Police Commission actIOns and the checks
redeem the division's name, "Rampart" is not only shorthand for mandated by the Consent Decree, the risks to rogues who cross
the scandal and run riot policing; it also is code for multiple crimes, serious crime barriers are much higher.
misconduct and views of the scandal's extent. Many LAPD officers
believe the City overreacted to the crimes of two CRASH officers. The extent of the unconstitutional policing associated with the
Most members of the City's elite, including this Panel, conclude scandal, like fabrication of probable cause and planting evidence, is
the scandal entails total systems failure, fueled by the Los Angeles unknown. LAPD leaders could be right that such misconduct
criminal justice system's anemic checks on police abuse and (often referred to as "good corruption") has declined. But recent
LAPD's feeble constraints on its "warrior policing." To clarify this discoveries of replica guns, such as those used by CRASH offenders
muddy picture, the Panel categorizes activity associated with the to frame suspects, suggest that planting evidence is not a thing of
Rampart CRASH crisis as follows: the past. And a 2006 sting revealed that such tactics still occur even
in the reformed Rampart Division. Management at the top of
• Crimes (e.g., selling drugs) LAPD focuses intently on achieving improvements mandated in
• Brutality (e.g., triggering suspect beatings) the Consent Decree, but the prime management failure of the
• Unconstitutional Policing (e.g., fabricating probable cause) CRASH crisis, first line supervision, remains weak. Finally, no
• Misconduct (e.g., falsifying reports, insubordination) institution in the Los Angeles criminal justice system has
• Mismanagement (e.g., weak or corrupt supervision, weak adequately confronted the underlying cultural drivers of the
oversight) scandal, or the criminal justice system's flaws that shielded CRASI-I
malfeasance and resulted in convicting the innocent.
Running Page #15

While longstanding problems like the codes of silence and retalia- LAPD continuing to make scandal related mistakes. 1ltey offered
tion remain,'" the story of the depanment's recovery and current as examples their conclusions that LAPD supervisors still too often
advancement is good, if still unfolding. LAP D's progress in vital signed off on search warrants lacking proper support; the depart-
areas while not discernable to many residents of high crime areas, ment was still allowing unqualified supervision over specialized
is a fact. To sum up the view of many officers interviewed in 2004 g'.Ing units; and the department had failed to look closely enough at
and 2005, the department has never been better: Crime is down; the new gang structures, which, in their view, were "old wine in
Rampart Division is fixed; and the Consent Decree is almost over. new flasks." In addition, no analysis had ever been done on the
actions of non-LAPD institutions that had responded to the crisis.
So what warrants a rear-view look at a seven-year-old scandal that
everyone wants to forget? In July 2003, after adopting the conclusions of the Chief that no
credible after-action analysis by the department existed and that
Objects in the rear-view mirror are closer than they appear. reports of continued mistakes could not be ignored, the Police
Commission appointed the Blue Ribbon Rampart Review" Panel
Command staff, officers, leaders of the rank and file and outside and charged it to:
experts warn that, while the serious crimes of the CRASH crisis are
gone, neither the supervision failures nor the deeper drivers of the [I]nvestigate and review the response by the City and others to
CRASH corruption have been adequately addressed to prevent the Rampart Area scandal in order to determine the extent to
scandal recu rrence. which the underlying causes for the scandal have been identi-
fied and addressed. The Panel will make findings regarding
Why Another Report the adequacy of the City's response and will make recommen-
dations designed to prevent any such event from ever occurring
In 2003, when the Los Angeles Police Commission requested this in the future."
report, four prior reports on the Rampan CRASH crisis already
existed." The Police Commission requested this fifth report for In February 2004, the Los Angeles City Council approved the
two reasons. First in early 2003, Chief of Police William Bratton Panel's formation, adopting the report of the Public Safety
asked to see the department's final after-action analysis of the Committee which recommended that the Panel "investigate and
Rampart CRASH matter. When he learned that no credible account review the response by the City and others to the Rampart Area
of the biggest scandal in the department's history existed, he scandal in order to determine the ... underlying causes ... [and]
requested that the Police Commission appoint an outside, inde- [d]ocument the deeper cultural and mental drivers behind the
pendent gtoUp to produce the analysis. Rampart scandal and its aftermath."" In late August 2004, the
Commission issued the rules that governed Panel opemtions. The
Second, in response to the Chief's request, the Police Commission Panel officially commenced irs work at that point. 1ltis report
asked the chair of this Panel to assess the need for an additional responds to the investigation requests of the City Council and the
investig'.Ition. During that assessment, current and retired LAPD Police Commission.
leaders-all vetemns expected to oppose exhuming the CRASH
coffin-srated that another review was needed because they saw
Running Page #16

Methodology presented as examples of the views the Panel heard or reviewed


during the course of the investigation. (A substantial selection of
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS comments, primarily from interviews with officers, appears in
Appendix 8.)
This report is a post-scandal check up that re-examines the under-
lying causes of the CRASH crisis and identifies continuing threats 1lle Panel considered the following categories of information.
of corruption recurrence. It also is a proposal for actions that lock
in current successes, resolve the department's longstanding prob- THE INTERVIEWS
lems and begin to defuse police-public hostility that still vexes high
crime areas. 1llis report is not a substitute for the investigations The Panel conducted interviews of over 200 people with relevant
and after-action analysis that should have been done much earlier, experience and/or expertise in LAPD and the Los Angeles criminal
but were not. The time for the definitive report that gets to the justice system. The Panel selected most interviewees for specific
bottom of the CRASH scandal has long passed, and its absence reasons, and conducted several round tables with groups of experts
stands as a major failure of the City's response to the CRASH crisis. from different institutions. In addition to the interviews, the Panel
received the views of several hundred LAPD and other law enforce-
Post-scandal analyses conducted years after the fact are constrained ment officers and experts. Expertise received included the views of
in usefulness by many things, not the least of which is the passage five former LAPD interim and permanent Chiefs of Police; over
of time. Prior to agreeing to do this analysis, the Chair of this Panel thirty deputy and assismnt chiefs, commanders and captains; rop
lim ited its scope ro systems failures in management and oversight, leaders of the LA Police Protective League; current and former
underlying cultural drivers and critical path decisions. 1llis report heads and members of the Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation, the Latin
does not focus on individuals. The Panel also agreed to report American Law Enforcement Association ("La Ley") and the Law
ongoing misconduct consistent with witness anonymity, but Enforcement Association of Asian Pacifics ("L.E.A.AP."); scores of
precluded the use of investigation findings in further prosecutions, officers ranging in rank from patrol through lieutenant; and current
discipline or other sanctions. Finally, the Panel expressly stated that and former Police Commissioners. Non-law enforcement inter-
it would use a forward-looking lens that examined past failures for views captured expertise from fedeml and state courts, prosecutors,
their relevance to today's public safety challenges. defense counsel, city attorneys, public defenders, plaintiffs' counsel,
authors of prior reports on LAPD, the City Personnel Department,
INFORMATION SOURCES investigators, commissioners, politicians, journalists, academics,
community leaders and consultants. All tenure tallied, the views
The conclusions, findings, and recommendations in this report rest presented to the Panel entail 8,000 years of experience in LAPD
on several sources, the most important of which are interviews with and the Los Angeles criminal justice system.
officers, department leaders, policing experts, prosecutors, civil
rights attorneys and others with expertise in policing, knowledge of PRIOR REPORTS
LAPD or experience stemming from the CRASH crisis and its
aftermath. Most of the anonymous comments that appear in the This Panel's analysis incorporates a large portion of the analysis
margins of this report come from those interviews and are found in the four prior reports on the CRASH crisis: the Report of
Running Page #17

the Rampart 11JdejJe1Jdent Review Palul (the "Drooyan Report"), TIle Chemerinsky Report critiqued the Bo;]rd of Inquiry ;]nd urged
appointed in 2000 by the Police Commission and the Office of the even deeper scrutiny of the scandal's cultural underpinnings and of
Inspector General; LAP D's internal Boord of Inquiry on the other institutions in the Los Angeles criminal justice system that
Rampart Area Corruption 11Jcidmt (the "Bmlrd of Inquiry"); AIJ f;]iled to check LAPD misconduct. The Chemerinsky Report's
Indepmdmt Analysis of the Los Angeles Police Departmmt's Boord central findings that the system ic failure of the CRASH crisis stems
of 11Jquiry Report 01J the Rampart SC01Jdal (TIle "Chemerinsky from fund;]ment;]l problems with LAPD culture ;]nd the ;]dminis-
Report"), also written in 2000 at the request of the Police tration of criminal justice in Los Angeles are also incorporated into
Protective League;'S and A Critical Alwlysis of USSOIJS Leor1ud: ;]nd ;]mplified by this P;]nel's report.
Recommendations for Improving the Calijor1Jia Crimilwl Justice
System in the Woke of the Rampart Scandal (the "Collins Report"), The Collins Report includes important recommendations for
issued in 2003 by the Los Angeles County B;]r Associ;]tion T;]sk improving the crimin;]l justice system to prevent wrongful convic-
Force on the State Criminal Justice System. '6 tions. However, judges, prosecutors and defense counsel inter-
viewed ;]cknowledge th;]t little progress l1;]s been m;]de on imple-
The Drooyan Report examines the broader context of the scandal menting these recommendations.
;]nd provides the definitive fmmework for understanding the b;]sic
story of the sc;]nd;]! ;]nd the oper;]tion;]!, strucmr;]!, politic;]!, gover- All of these reports, while too limited in scope ;]nd resources to
mnce ;]nd cultuml f;]ilures th;]t fueled the R;]mp;]rt CRASH crisis. provide the definitive investig'.ltion, offer excellent ideas. In the
TIle extensive ;]n;]!ysis of this 250-p;]ge work is required re;]ding to wake of the feder;]! Consent Decree, recommend;]tions in the
understand this Panel's analysis which starts where the Drooyan Drooyan Report, Chemerinsky Report and Board of Inquiry
Report ends, ;]nd docs not replic;]te but incorpor;]tes its findings. received in;]dequ;]te considemtion.TIleyshould be reviewed ;]g;]in
This Panel's report delves more deeply into the cultural and to determine whether their recommend;]tions could enh;]nce
mindset drivers of the sc;]nd;]l identified in the Drooy;]n Report current reforms. This Panel does not replicate the extensive
;]nd Chemerinsky Report;]s well ;]s the Bo;]rd of Inquiry. It ;]lso ;]n;]lysis done by prior reports on the CRASH crisis. This P;]nel's
focuses more directly on the broader political barriers that undermine report starts where these prior reports ended and drills down to the
the f;]ir ;]dministr;]tion of crimin;]l justice, ;]nd dep;]rtment pmctices issues th;]t were missed or not re;]ch;]ble in the immedi;]te
that undermine sustained progress. Although some Drooyan Report wreckage of the scandal.
recommend;]tions h;]ve been en;]cted, m;]ny dl;]t ;]re still relev;]nt
l1;]ve not been sufficiently considered.
CONSENT DECREE REPORTS

The Bo;]rd of Inquiry, conducted by LAPD comm;]nd in the imme- The most consequenti;]l result of the CRASH crisis is th;]t the
diate wake of the scandal, analyzes the Rampart CRASH subcul- United States Department of Justice ("DOJ Washington") sued to
ture ;]nd suggests fixes for the f;]ilures of middle m;]n;]gement ;]nd pbce the oper;]tions of the Los Angeles Police Dep;]rtment under
basic systems. Although it omitted important questions like the the jurisdiction of a federal court and the Consent Decree. The
responsibility of higher command and the role of LAPD culture, its Consent Decree m;]nd;]tes refonns stemming from specific miscon-
discussion of the mentality th;]t existed ;]t R;]mp;]rt CRASI-I ;]nd its duct by Rampart CRASH officers as well as several longstanding
recommendations on performance evaluations remain useful. problems. The reports of the Monitor for the fedeml Consent Decree
Running Page #18

currcndy are Ihe celllral baromeler of LAPI) progress in de,"eI- CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
oping sySlems Ihal check misconducl and sound alarms when signs
of problemalic behavior emerge. The Consem Decree is till impor- Panel members and slaff synthesized rclev:lIlt informalion from
I:Inl foundalion for furure and more probing changes needed in credible wilness inlen'icws and information sources described
LAPI). Bur more imponanrlY.lhe role oflhe Coun is indispensable above 10 formulale conclusions and rccommendations. Issucs or
to any hope of suslaining Ihe depanment's current advances or allcgalions raised in Ihe course of Ihe investigation Ihal had insuf-
making Ihe deeper changes Ihal LAPD officcrs and other experts ficielll corroboralion may be acknowledged in the report as areas for
say arc needed 10 a"oid perennial pirfalls. funher slUdy, possible aberralions or possible indicalors of ume-
soh'ed problems. They were nOI. howe"er, used as Ihe basis for
OTHER DOCUMENTS conclusions and rccommendalions.

The !):md reviewed dozens of LAPD investigations, repons, Report Structure


manuals, and audils, including LAPD planning documenls like
Chief Bratton's Pion of Action for The Los Angelts Tltot Is ond tlte 11\c struclUre of this report reflects four premises:
Los Angela Tlwt Could Be. The Panel also rC\'iewed 'ulumes of
non-LAPD material including trial transcripts. defendant inter- I. The unlearned lessons of Ihe CRASH crisis remain relc\'3nl 10
,'iews, complainlS, books, prior reports, news articles and "ideo- scandal prevention and dcpartmcnt advancement.
tapes.
Z. The unexpecrcd nexus belwcen scandal pre"ention and depan-
PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT ANALYSIS mem ad\'ancemem is Ihe nmable recovery of the Rampan Division.

The Los Angeles Depanmenl of Personnel de"elopcd for Ihis 3. The underlying causes and drivers of the sC'.mdal-lhe Cirys
repon an assessmelll of Ihe backgrounds and qU:llificltions of policing paradigm, eondilions in high crime areas and inade(IUale
LAPD Cdndidales in selecled years. The Panel rC<luested Ihis resources and slaff-need 10 be addrcssed by non LAPD inslilU-
study, which required months of research and analysis, 10 gCI an lions; bUl mhers-LAPD anitlldes, accountabilily and incelllivcs-
informed rcsponse to Ihe commonly expressed \'icw that eorrupl can be fixed by Ihe departmem.
officers had detcclable red flags in their backgrounds or were
admined erroneously as a result of "affirmative action." As 4. Such changes "ill nOI happen unless LAPI) officers co-chari Ihe
discussed more fully in the section of this report entitled "The solutions and agree to implement them.
Road Behind," the Personnel Department experts found no
ins!3nce where a candidate failed to meet the LAP D's background The first section of the report, entitled 'The Road Ahead," tells the
or psychological standards. Moreover, the experts found no mean- story of Rampart Division's transformation in the wake of the
ingful difference in the application of b:lckground :lIld psycholog- CI~ASI-I crisis, explores implications of th:Jt ch~ll1ge for past lessons
icul st':lndards to candidates of \~drying r,lce or ethnicity. (Sec and future advances and sets out the b:lrriers [0 taking those changes
Appendix D for a summary of the sUlcly.) department-wide. ·'The Rotld Ahead" hilS three subsections. The
first focuses on how innovative officers built on prior recovery
Running Page #19

efforts to transform Rampart Division from dysfunction Into a


showcase of clean, effective, collaborative crime fighting. It is understandable why in March 2005, after settling the last of the
Rampart civil lawsuits, City leaders declared the Rampart CRASH
The second subsection of ''The Road Ahead" focuses on the chapter closed. 17 New leaders in LAPD and the City of Los
external barriers ro making the Rampart success standard Angeles had moved beyond the scandal, and were well on their way
throughout all LAPD divisions, including the prohibitive condi- to a third year of falling crime rates. LAPD continues to improve
tions in high crime divisions and the City's failure to move away many of its systems and has a remarkable recovery in Rampart
from its thinly resourced "thin blue line" policing model. Division to build on. On the surf.lce, there seemed no reason to go
back and take a last look at the past problems. A deeper look,
The third subsection of "The Road Ahead" presents the internal however, reveals that the Rampart CRASH chapter remains open.
LAPD barriers to making the Rampart model LAPD's standard,
including the reasons LAPD docs not solve the longstanding Underneath Rampart Area's notable recovery and the department's
underlying problems like internal distrust, codes of silence, retalia- progress is the reality that the underlying drivers and some hall-
tion, misplaced loyalty and accountability aversion that officers marks of the crisis still occur. These missed lessons increase the
agree prevent it from broader transformation or g'.Iining the risk of scandal recurrence and prevent the department from moving
community mIst it needs for policing in 21st century Los Angeles. toward the promising policing showcased in the Rampart recovery.
This subsection ends with a proposal for a task force of internal and At this point in time, the imperative is to identify the deeper
external change agents to co-chart the difficult actions needed to changes needed to further reduce the likelihood ofa scandal recur-
fix these longstanding problems. rence, to fix LAPD's longstanding problems and to advance its
current progress.
The second section of this report, entitled "The Road Behind,"
reviews what went right and what went wrong with the major As one LAPD veteran summed it up:
responses of different institutions to the Rampart CRASH crisis.
This section ou dines the difficulties and successes of the in vestig'.I- We're making the same mistakes and haven't made the deeper
tions of the CRASH scandal by different government agencies and fixes really needed to head off another Rampart or Rodney
concludes that the next scandal will have to be handled in a King. We've got one last chance to get it righr. .. and not much
com pletel y different ,."...1 y. time to do it.

The third section of the report, entitled "Actions and Solutions," is Once these deeper fixes and longstanding problems arc addressed,
blank. If the Police Commission and department leaders accept the department will be able to move beyond the shadow of the
the Panel's recommendation for an expedited action taskforce, this scandal and irrevocably forward down the road to better policing.
section of the report will be written jointly with LAPD's leading
change agents to chart the map to the Road Ahead, which can then
be added to Chief Bratton's Plan oj Actionjor Tlu Los Angeles That
Is alJd the Los Angeles That Could Be.

• • •
Running Page #20

The Road Ahead in need. They feared CRASH reClli:ltion :Ind remained silent.
Former and current gang members interviewed rcportcd routine
abuses by CRASH officers that resulted in serious bodily injury.
I. THE RAMPART RECOVERY One former gang member told the Panel th:lt two CRASH officers
transported him lO ri'''"J1 territory, chained him "like a dog" lO a
The lasl rhing lhal this Pand expected (0 find was Ih:1I Ramr)an lamppost and notified the rival gang. He reponed that ri"al gang
Di'lsion had not merely recm"ered from the SC'.mdal bUI had done members pulled a gun on him and threatened to kill him.
so by pioneering a promising communiry·backcd. collaborative
crime fighting model. The division's u".)nsformation blurs :lny If me worst allegations by these sources arc
nexus [0 the old division Ih:u harbored [he oullaw officers who true. the eA1:ent and se\'erity of the brutality We illimi~ate
spawned rhe crisis. and illegal tactics by Ramp:lrt CRASH offi-
those whl intimidate
ccrs were e"en more severe than the acts
documented by the Los Angeles District ItDerS.
Even before the scandal that marred irs name. Rampart Division
was known for hard-charging, rambunctious policing that had few Anorney. But worse, if they are true, CRASH
rules and fewer consrraims. Nicknamed "'R:J.mpagc· Division" in abuses of gang suspects and the rules of
the early 1990s, its eight square miles include LA's most dense evidence were not limited [0 Rampart An:'J
Ai,.! No D""
immigrJnt neighborhoods, desil'3blc p::Irks, bndmarks and a rela- but extended lO subcults of CRASH units in
tively high crime rolle. In 1992, gang re!:ncd crime had surged (0 77th, Southeast and Wilshire Di,isions. Prior Lite Cap D",.
alarming Icn:ls. Polirical pressure on LAPD lO re"crse thc crime in"estigations of the CRASH crisis do not
'\~J\"e mounted. In responsc. mc division unleashed its :lOti-gang conclude that other divisions' CRASH units
shared the pauern of routine excessive force,
CRASH unit. Unsupenised and unrestrained, Rampart CRASH h'ate" won
brutality, fabrication of probable C'JUSC and
officers quickly developed "an independent subculturc that
cmbodicd a 'war on gangs' mentality where: the ends justified thc corrupt investigations alleged in Ramp:lrt
10 ca1J:h a..n.
mcans,~ :lOd that rejected super"ision and control." And within this CRASH. Ho.....e'·er. the record eswblishes
"gunslinger~ mentality developed an even more dangerous subsct "oluminous complaints from suspects :lIld
of ouduw officers who went beyond the unit's routine exccssi,'c gang members about excessive force abuses
forcc. cxaggcratcd or fabricated probablc cause and intimidation. (bur not drug crimes) from subcults within sC\'cml CRASH
Units. While such witncsses are problem:ttic. thc volumc and
CRASH officers in this selected subsct stood accused by former pattern of the ir com plaints shou Id not ha \'e been routi nely ignored
Ibmpart CRASH officer Rafael Perez of e\·jdence planting, f:tlse by LAPD. Crcdiblc officcr witnesses who observed or wcre
imprisonment, illegal searches. beatings, fr.uning suspects :md members of these other CRASH units in action during the early lO
perjury.'9 Perez and at least one other CRASH officer admitted th:1 t mid-I990s also corroborate these gang member reports of routine
they stole drugs .md money, framed innocent defen&lnts :md shot abuse. These reports strongly suggest that the non-drug corrup-
:md wounded an unarmed suspect. Patrol officers who regularly ran tion was not limited to Rampart. Being "in the loop" m~lY ha\'c
into CRASH units on the streets reported seeing assaults and beat- been a subculture norm for CRASH.1ll
ings by CRASH officers and refusals by them to help p:l1rol officers
Running Page #21
1 0 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • ..... ~ • •

What this investigation can reliably confirm is that Rampart improved management, operations and procedure might be enough
Division in the mid-90s was a darkly conflicted, dysfunctional and to reform outward behavior, they had not changed the underlying
dangerous place to be. It was an easy mark for a "gunslinger" attitudes and mindset that had seeded the scandal.
clique determined to hijack division control. According to
convicted officers, they filled the division's leadership void and It is at this point that the new LAPD command and Rampart
leveraged their role in the war on gangs into a power base that few Division leadership moved beyond division stabilization into
dared to challenge. These officers reported feeling they could pioneering an unorthodox crime fighting model that was designed
operate-legally and illegally-with impunity: "We were without to not only reduce crime but to do so with community support, and
fear-of anything or anyone. \Ve were untouchable." change how officers view themselves and their jobs. It resulted in
a turnaround of the division, the transformation of a local park and
I-lad Rafael Perez stuck to abusing gang members, scoring record a ISO-degree difference in officer mindset.
numbers of arrests and retrieved guns, he likely would have
remained untouchable. But he crossed a line that even his subcult TIle key 'VJS leadership and a vision. In 2003, the Chief had
within CRASH would not automatically defend. I-Ie had stolen ordered the division to shape up and the local park to be cleaned
drugs and gotten caught. And in disclosing misconduct in accor- up. The new captain had been stunned by the news that within
dance with a plea agreement on drug charges, he exposed the four years of the scandal, the new gang u nit had ordered black hats
CRASH abuses that would toss the Los Angeles Police with symbols on them to wear after duty. This kind of activity was
Department into its most serious police corruption scandal in sixty a hallmark of Rampart CRASH conduct and can signal the
years. I-lis charges of routine framing, planting evidence, perjury, "gunslinger" mindset." \Vorse than the hats was the fact that their
evidence fabrication and brumlity triggered fedeml takeover of the supervisor had not recognized the danger of that mindset or
LAPD, more than 100 overturned convictions and over $70 million ordered a halt to signamre
in damages." conduct of the disbanded
Search and Destroy wasn't working.
CRASH unit. The Captain
Seven years later, the division that Perez ruled is gone. The transfor- replaced these officers with
We had to lJy something else that didn't
mation began in late 1999 with a ruthless clean up process that left the sma rtest, most seasoned make the community hate us.
the majority of innocent officers and civilians in Rampart Division and mature officers he knew LAPO SUpervi11i iJ.~ illlllll..rt brlBlIIIt ... 20
demoralized and cermin that fJimess had been sacrificed on the altar from across the department. filII II filii

of political expedience. New managers had dismantled the division's The Rampart team replaced
g'Jng unit, imposed strict adherence to LAPD policy and reasserted intimidation tactics with problem solving joint ventures among the
command control. In 2001, as the Rampart criminal investigations station, local businesses, community leaders and other city depart-
ended, internal investigations closed and the scandal receded from ments. They mobilized the community, and corporate donations
the headlines, crime in the division continued to decline. and government grants allowed them to fill the park with cameras
and monitoring equipment, state of the art lighting and playground
Within three years of the crisis, LAPD could have declared equipment. Within six months, park crime plunged 45% and the
"recovery accomplished" based on regaining control of the division park was clean to the point that families felt safe enough to dance
and driving its "gunslinger" subcu lture underground. New division to music in the dark under the new lights that awaited money to be
leadership that arrived in 2003, however, determined that while turned on.
Running Page #22

1lle Rampart Division turnaround is not a fairyrale. This Panel endy duplicating the evidence planting tactics of former CRASH
spent considerable time verifying that the scandal-ridden division offenders." And the park was not very important to the robbety
had not just ended corru ption but had crafted an unorthodox crime victim who had overcome great fear to enter the station, only to be
fighting strategy that was smart, tech-savvy and community turned away by an apologetic desk sergeant who couldn't speak
backed. Interviewees from the Rampart community confirmed Spanish. Other factors-like the area's gentrification, g'.Ing injunc-
that the division had rallied them-respectfully and colla bora- tions and improved economy-played disputed roles in the
tively-to clean up MacArthur recovery. And history supports warnings that the new model will
Park. While it was difficult to end once the levels of staff and resources decline and the change
It's not often that agroup of police gauge support among recent agents move onto new assignments: This is not the first time that
officers can make a difference. We immigrants who understand- Rampart Division has been resurtected from a nadir. For example,
did it...People see something special ably fear interaction with offi- in the late 1980s, then Chief Daryl Gates, according to a former
cers and blue ribbon panels, deputy chief, "took Rampart Division apart" to reimpose constraints
is going on here and they want to
area gang members and gang and discipline.
be part of ilia!. intervention leaders grudg-
lAPD Lillie_It Han,.~A.a (II SIa:ea ingly noted that the division It also is important to point out that Rampart Division's success-
"'&cMu.Parkj had changed the tenor and a product of vision from the Chief and others, and an Assistant
tone of its policing. They Chief's innovative ideas to streamline bureaucracy and increase
testified that the new division leaders by and large had treated effectiveness-is not the department's only notable example of
them professionally. More importantly to the gang members and high road policing. Pilot projects in several other divisions also
intervention workers, Rampart leaders had moved out officers who have showcased innovative leaders leading successful problem
still abuse them, but now do so from Wilshire and Hollywood solving crime fighting. In Southwest Division, under the Safer City
Divisions.'" This Panel monitored the park at night, as well as during Initiative, the department committed a specific group of officers to
the day. The consistent absence of dnlg dealing, prostitution and work in the Baldwin Village neighborhood, targeting gang violence
untuly behavior is striking. And everyone interviewed in the and working with the community to help them access public
Rampart Division agreed that the collaboration and community resources to improve their community. Despite overt opposition
consultation had changed the outlook of a few officers and the from several of their colleagues, select officers in Southwest also
oUf'lvard behavior of many more. worked closely with community leaders to support former
Councilman Martin Ludlow's "Summer of Success" program,
The Panel recognizes that the Rampart Division transformation is which reduced violence by providing recreation and short-term
not perfect. MacArthur Park is not Disneyland. The streets a few employment for at-risk youth in the summer of 2004. In Valley
blocks over exhibit much of the dark activity driven from the park. Bureau, a retired Deputy Chief also ignored resistance from
1lle area, while improving, is still dense with poverty and deep LAPD's "us against them" old guard to forge an alliance with local
socio-economic needs. Not all officers in the division buy into the gang intervention leaders. Community members and gang inter-
new policing outlook, and like many in other divisions, dismiss it as ventionists reported that innovative leaders in Harbor Division
"social work." Citizen complaints continue. At least two Rampart created the same kind of partnership with the long-serving
officers have been snared in corru ption stings-with one appar- Tolberman House. And for a brief period in 2003, an effort spear-
Running Page #23
1 2 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A ........~ • •

headed by City Council smff created an effective public-police not indulge LAPD's traditional The philosophy is that police
coalition to combat gang activity in Pacific Division. Unlike the "us versus them" and "ends
make a difference... you can affect
Rampart turnaround, these commendable programs did not have justify the means" paranoia
division-wide participation, did not benefit ftom the bureaucratic that excuses misconduct and community and crime. We are not
streamlining that freed up Rampart staff, and did not have the addi- excessive force."; Nor do they here just to chronicle what happened;
tional resources. 1lley also had less potential for department-wide tolerate the silencing of whistle- we are here to improve the future.
applicability because they tended to be personality dependent blowers or share LAP D's his-
That is the underlying message.
and/or very short-term, and encountered open hostility from offi- toric disdain for laws and policies
tAPO SI,lIVill ilVlll'III il RIII,lrt 111111111•.
cers who preferred traditional proactive policing. viewed as obstacles to tough
Mr2Dy.rs II "ICI
policing.'" Supervisors under the
In considering the Rampart turnaround, it also should be noted that new model go to great lengths
some of the most extraordinary LAPD leadership is found in South to treat officers fairly and invest in their development, at the same
Bureau, where command staff have skillfully contained recent time rejecting the common tendency in LAPD to befriend officers
public-police confrontations. As discussed below, leaders in South instead of enforcing constraints. They check what officers are doing
Bureau daily contend with much higher crime rates, deeper public- in the streets and enforce policy. They do not shield "hard chargers"
police mistrust, and entrenched officer and community outlooks with high arrest numbers from discipline, permit peer leaders to
that pose daunting obstacles to installing the high toad policing countermand supervisors or excuse abuse of suspects and g',lng
showcased in the Rampart turnaround. members as "aggressive policing." More importantly; the new
Rampart supervisors would have neutralized two of the scandal's
1llese and other impormnt issues notwithsmnding, it would be a strongest drivers: the "gunslinger" mindset and intense political
mistake to miss the significance of the Rampart Division turn- pressure for dramatic crime reduction that distorted division opera-
around. It is the genome for DNA that keeps the strengths oftradi- tions and licensed "no holds barred" tactics.
tiona I LAPD culture and replaces the weaknesses with attributes
that improve its ability to check corruption and overcome long- This model is the key to preventing recurrence of the CRASH
standing problems that prevent the department from gaining the crisis because it arrests the corruption at the right level-----{lt the
public trust it needs to fight crime in high crime divisions. underlying mentality, core professional identity, peer cues, customs
and codes that drive LAPD behavior. The leadership qualities and
conditions that produced the Rampart turnaround are important to
Conclusions Regarding The Rampart Recovery identify for several reasons. First, the specific leadership attributes
are the key to the model's success and need to be studied, codified
Conclusion 1.1. and taught. Second, the gaps between the new model and LAPD
The New Rampart Leadership aNd Crime FightilJg Model Would Have nonns identify the internal hurdles to implementing it department-
Pnvented CRASH Misconduct from Metastasizing into a Crisis wide. Third, the conditions and actions that paved the way for the
Rampart turnaround point to the much larger external barriers to
The impact of this unorthodox model on the Rampart Division's taking this effective crime fighting model beyond the division it
CRASH scandal would have been unmistakable: CRASH rogues redeemed. Officers and division leaders who cmfted the model
would have been stopped because supervisors under this model do identified its key attributes, leadership qualities and preconditions.
Running Page #24

Conclusion 1.2. Conclusion 1.3.


The New Rampart Leadership and Crime Fighting Model The New Rampart Leadership and Crime Fighting Model Had
Had the FollowilJg Key Attributes the Following Leadership Qualities

The Panel identified and officers confirmed the following key As noted above, excellent supervision was a critical factor in the
attributes of the new Rampart leadership and crime fighting model: Rampart Division's success. TIle supervisors who transformed the
Rampart Division share anum ber of leadership qualities. All of the
• Crime fighting strategies based on good use of data, adv"Jnced
supervIsors:
criminology, and a problem solving policing vision that goes
beyond tactics and arrests. • Use inspirational leadership that sets clear expectations, invests
in officers and treats them humanely and fairly.
• Critical thinking prized over obedience and rote application
of rules. • Do not micromanage bur advise and help officers succeed.

• Sophisticated use of technology. • Have high persuasion abilities, assess people accurately and
navig'Jte department politics well.
• Problem solving mentality.
• Are fluent in the LAPD culture and understand what is good
• Firm but fair supervision.
about it and what has been bad about it.
• Officers are rewarded for helping the community solve
• Have evolved beyond old culmre's negative aspects like the
problems that generate crime and enlisting community help
bunker mentality, blind loyalty, "ends justify the means"
to fight crime.
thinking, toleration of bnnal and harsh tactics, and "search and
• Officers know how to engage local leaders and community destroy" policing that alienates the community.
members in crime prevention and crime fighting without
• Have replaced traditional "us versus them" xenophobia with
alienating or endangering them.
collaboration and a joint planning mindset.
• Officers know how to interact professionally and productively
• Have a substantive policing background that has earned the
with gang intervention workers and with gang members.
respect of rank and file by promoting after doing actual street
• Officers are taught how to conduct public agency joint work and not promoting disproportionately through paper
planning, secure priv"Jte sector participation in specific projects knowledge and tests.
and win corporate backing and donations.
• Know officers' strengths and weaknesses and how to put them
in jobs they will be good at.

• Know which officers will create good teams that solve problems.

• Cross barriers raised by rank, LAPD hierarchies, specialized


units and cliques to find the smartest problem solvers with
records of effective crime fighting.
Running Page #25
1 4 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • ..... ~ • •

~ Do not tolerate or excuse retaliatory or other hostile work envi- ~ Insist that officers replace LAPD's arrogant, cold, dismissive
ronments for any officer. public interaction with professional, respectful, helpful interaction.

~ Show high intermcial abilities and are viewed by officers of all ~ Rise above and counter the unprofessional attributes of LAPD's
races as not just unbiased, but knowledgeable about LAPD's informal culture including the gossip grapevine, political
internal and external racial problems and how to neutmlize them. factions and old-boy systems that promote and favor based on
crony loyalty and other inappropriate factors.
~ Are viewed by women officers as fair and proactive in shutting
down the shunning, hazing and other gender bias activities that ~ Use data intelligently and strategically, but do not reward
a few male officers still engage in. numbers of arrests more than the quality of policing and prevent
disproportionate focus on numbers as sole measure of success.
~ Analyze problems fully; seek different ideas and act strategically
to solve larger problems. ~ Check data manipulation and mindless arrests to achieve
numeric results.
~ Are unafraid to take informed risks.
~ Share credit and reward success and responsible risk mking.
~ Know how to cut through red tape and minimize the drag of
LAPD bureaucracy. ~ Use criminology and best practices to develop crime fighting
strategies like joint agency focus on violent offenders and the
~ Value critical thinking, constructive criticism, new ideas that
top 10% of criminals that produce the majority of crime.
solve problems, teamwork, collabomtion with outsiders and
common sense. ~ Know how to win support from outside agencies, corpomtions,
local businesses, foundations, politicians, residents and all local
~ Effectively neutralize the "gunslingers" and peer leaders who
advocates including those who challenge police.
subvert good supervision.

~ Can distinguish among mistakes, misconduct, malfeasance and Conclusion 1.4.


crime by officers and impose fair discipline, helpful training or The New Rampart Leadership alJd Crime Fighting Model Had the
removal as warranted. Following COIJditions Precedellt

~ Know how to discipline officers who make mistakes in an The Rampart transformation could not have happened without
instructive, affirming way that improves their policing and does certain conditions precedent. Those conditions included:
not leave them humiliated and afmid for their careers.
~ Crime had stabilized.
~ Enforce mature, professional treatment of suspects and zero
tolemnce for brutality or mistreatment. ~ Prior leaders in the immediate wake of the scandal had cleaned,
primed and prepped the troops for new approaches.
~ Do not indulge in the LAPD tradition of "passing the lemons"
~ TIle Chief of Police gave clear orders for a dramatic clean up of
or transferring unremediated problem officers.
the park done in a smart way.
Running Page #26

• TIle Chief of Police empowered division leaders with discretion Conclusion 1.5.
to make decisions. The New Rampart Leadership and Crime Fighting Mode/Is Not the
Norm Throughout LAPD
• An Assistant Chief developed a streamlined structure that
relieved Rampart Division's leaders from reporting to the
Several interviewees contended that the collaborative crime
bureau, conducting personnel investigations and having to
fighting model showcased in the Rampart turnaround already is the
generate paperwork, projects and other activities that burdened
department standard. The Panel agrees that department rhetoric
supervisors and diverted crime fighting focus.
about community collaboration is standard, and that Rampart
• Community support for police remained high. Division, as noted above, is not the deparnnent's only example of
collaborative, problem solving policing. But the fact that these
Four additional points to note about the model's attributes: First, examples are notable as exceptions and that they faced vocal and
it was critical that the Chief of Police expressed a vision of effective covert opposition demonstrates that they are not the LAPD norm.
crime fighting that increases public-police trust, and mandated that
the goal of cleaning up the park be achieved with community Conclusion 1.6.
support. Second, it is important The New Rampart Leadership alJd Crime Fighting Model
that LAPD veterans forged these Is Unlikely to Last
Now Iget thanked hy residents. leadership qualities by com-
I get awave instead Df the finger. bining the best in LAPD culture Officers from several divisions gave the success at Rampart less
That's intangible. but YDU have nD with new outlooks that they have than a so-so chance of surviving more than two years, and no
developed as smarter ways to chance of lasting after Chief Bmtton leaves. So far, new division
idea how hig ~at is. The eldedy lady
fight crime. Third, the qualities leaders are beating those odds. Two years out, the progress is
whD used tD dislike us nDW calls listed above must be seen as a holding despite loss of staff and funds. In 2006, Rampart officers
with information. package, not a menu; picking one are seeking donations to pay for turf, to start sporting leagues for
LAPIJ Sergllft. .1lI! 10 y.s an .. illCI or two will not work. And fourth, local kids, and to refurbish the bandstand in the park. But the
ldllscrili"J IIf1ct II iiI clll"JIIll calhDnlllin, this model was not pioneered in likely reason for the continued progress is that some of the original
,rIll.. "lvill.Hill HId ,llicillJ leaders are still in the division and only supervisors who share the
Rampart or other divisions with
current pilot projects. LAPD new outlook have been selected for assignment to Rampart. Once
years ago rejected efforts by African American, Latino and female the old thinking supervisors return, the odds are likely that the
officers who were the first to expand the "Basic Car Plan" commu- turnaround will go the way of many other innovations at LAPD-
nity policing model by replacing "search and destroy" policing with by the wayside.
joint problem solving and community collaboration.
The low odds of sustaining and standardizing the Rampart crime
The question is why isn't this model the standard throughout fighting model can be beat, but not without understanding the
LAPD? impact of the external barriers to implementing the Rampart turn-
around department-wide.
Running Page #27
1 6 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A ........~ • •

II. EXTERNIlL BIlRRIERS TO REPLICIlTING mentality that are central to the Rampart transformation.
Specifically, officers who fear that too few are available for backup
THE RIlMPIlRT TRANSFORMIlTION
or to help assert control can develop a "state of siege" mindset that
distorts threat assessment and treatment of the public. Officers in
Officers and experts interviewed agree thar rhe internal and high crime divisions report they do not feel they can safely go
external barriers to making high road policing the department
beyond answering calls for service and stemming crime with
standard are daunting. The same officers who openly criticized aggressive and alienating pre-
LAPD resistance to change, also pointed beyond the department's
emption tactics. Southeast officers who come to
shortcomings to the bigger external obstacles posed by the City's
thinly resourced policing model, the failures of other institutions Rampart can't believe the difference.
Other officers do not report
and the "dangers on the ground" in high crime areas. In short, being fearful, but state that They can drive by the street and not
insufficient resources, old mind sets and the instability of high they are there to take advan- feel ~e hatred.
crime divisions will block change. tage of high crime areas to "do LAPIJ SlfrrtiilDI whD .nd i11111""rt nI s...flrat
real police work," meaning that ....... d1. 25 "m II f.u
1l1eir point that the policing demonstrated in the Rampart turn- they get to use force with less
around will be stymied by these and other external facrors should scrutiny and fewer consequences. And the minority of officers in
not be taken as an excuse for LAPD failures, but as their proper high crime areas who forgo "intimidation policing" in favor of more
context. For example, the relatively stable conditions that eased collaborative tactics report hostility and retaliation from the officers
the Rampart turnaround do not exist in high crime divisions. with the warrior outlook.
Officers in high crime divisions compare their jobs to triage in a
MASH unit or smoke jumping. They contend that a Rampart-like Many of these observations reflect the myths and lore of urban
transformation would be doomed by the volume of emergency calls. policing as well as the tensions within a department trying to find its
They roll from one crisis call to another with no time for the planning, way into the 21st century. Nonetheless, they are a legitimate part of
public interaction, meetings and other activities that Rampart the calculus of what stands in the way of moving the most troubled
Division conducted. More- divisions to,vJrd high road policing. It is important not to inflate the
over, the majority of inter- validity of police myths about inner city policing. But it is equally
Historically, serious crime clustered in viewees contend that even important to account for the real conditions that officers face.
the inner city neighborhoods, leaving other if they had the time, such
neighborhoods relatively crime free. This actJvltJes would detract Gang officers who patrolled South Bureau in 2005 confronted
led to apractice of crime containment and from the arrest numbers violence that exceeded the crime wave that besieged Rampart
that they believe are needed Division in 1996. Although Rampart Division currently hosts many
with it. areluctance to give the lAPD the for promotions. More impor- gangs-a few of which rank with the most dangerous in the City-
proper resources it needed to effectively tantly, officer perceptions of and still has a rate of crime and poverty that West Los Angeles
police the entire city. constant danger and the would find staggeringly high, when compared to conditions in
lARIA. r7M:. 7. 'rl.A.,_ 1Mils •• I. actual dangers can block South Bureau, Rampart is relatively steady. In sum, the relative
(r,A• • lhl c.il9.. lIDak I1112 (lkta. 28. 2004) the shifrs in outlook and stability that allowed the new Rampart leadership to pioneer that
Running Page #28

division's transformation does Conclusions Regarding External Barriers


But ablue line stretched too thin
not exist in South Bureau. To Replicating The Rampart Transformation
More importantly, the public
left officers uncertain how quickly In High Crime Divisions
support expressed by resi- back up would arrive. and so apolic-
dents and community leaders ing style evolved that became overly Conclusion 11.1.
for Rampart Area officers aggressive in the eyes of many Los Allge/es Hos OIl Under-resourced, "Thill Blue Line"
even at the height of the Policing Model
Angelinos. especially in minority
scandal, has never existed in
South Bureau. Officers in communities. Police behavior that had "Thin blue line" policing emerged from the need to control LA's
South Bureau reap the bitter arisen in this context has been called hundreds of square miles with fewer than 2.5 officers per thousand
harvest of public hostility 'good cop corruption: which describes residents and from the City's historic xenophobic need to control
from LAPD's racially vexed unwanted immigrants and "criminally inclined" racial minorities....'
pursuit of justice through means both
history in historically poor Former LAPD Chief William
black communities. legal and unconstitutional. The laud- Parker, the architect of LAPD's
able end goal to achieve public safety We have been forced into
proactive professional paramilitary
South Bureau also has leaders in Los Angeles had become corrupted ethos, touted the "thin blue line" paramilitary [policing] to keep
with the entrepreneurial as the only way to protect civilized control. Ultimately; it causes you
by the means to achieve it- fear.
problem-solving outlook that LA from "moral anarchy": "In to lose control because there is no
W'Il All rI~... !iJ 111 AI..., ,., II. !iJ
led the Rampart turnaround. lParker's] mind, America was 'the
111 ..._,.,,,.., k 8,,1111 l (lkUI.lB.l0041 community trust There is adis-
Both sets of leaders agree most lawless nation on earth' and
that conditions for the two 'man the most predatory of all lin]
connect between the public and
Bureaus present starkly different challenges and that thin the animal kingdom.' An omni- the police department.. It is a
resources are a major Issue. But they and other interviewees present police force-a 'thin blue paradox-we are pushed into it
emphasize that while lack of resources presents a formidable line'-was, he felt, society's only sal-
but if there are no resources to
barrier, it pales in comparison to two much bigger external barriers vation."'" The paradigm is steeped
to wider transformation: I) the plate tectonics of the City's "thin
get out of it. then it becomes our
in the aggressive racial hostility and
blue line" policing model that seed aggressive proactive suppres- the puritanical "militant moralism" downfall.
sion policing; and 2) the desperate and dysfunctional poverty of of 19th century Los Angeles. RlIlifl~ LAPIJ Conlllulll Stif. mllllh..
Los Angeles' underclass neighborhoods. The first of these bigger 30 yelll" fiR"
external barriers to a Rampart-like transformation is that South Over fony years ago, the McCone
Bureau is ground zero of "thin blue line," proactive containment Commission evoked the "thin blue line" in a chapter titled "Law
policing. Enforcement-The Thin Thread." The Commission, convened in
the wake of the 1965 Watts riots, noted that "Ia] group of officers
who represent a tiny fraction of one percent of the population is the
thin thread that enforces observance of law by those few who would
do otherwise." (McCone Report at 29.)
Running Page #29
1 8 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A ........~ • •

Conclusion 11.2. people off of their porches and We have only enough
The "Thin Blue Line" Model Seeds Proactive Policing that Delivers other actions to project control and police officers here to make
Containment and Suppression ofViolmce in High Crime Areas, but preempt crime." Officers recently
Not Public Sa/ety have added to this repertoire
certain that the wealthier
powers gtanted under neighbor- neighborhoods stay safe...[Dhe
In this "thin blue line" framework, the police see themselves as the hood-wide gang injunctions. question that...losAngeles has
cordon between violent high crime areas and protected "safe" to confront is...Do we want to
neighborhoods. 111ey and everyone else know which communities Underc1ass communities experi-
and which individuals belong on either side of that line. In a ence proactive suppression policing
make the whole city safe?
striking confirmation of the model, the chair of this Panel, while as a pervasive, tacially targeted Pli.a.lIrrdlr:IM'll
(All: .IIVISII Bllltast Jill 1. 2004).
driving through Watts in a BMW convertible, got pulled to the curb campaign of indiscriminate harass-
by an LAPD squad car and a Los Angeles Sheriffs deputy. The ment and police dominion that
officers and the deputy explained that she had done nothing wrong. aggravmes the deprivation of their neighborhoods. And under
They had pulled her over out of concern that she must be lost, and containment/suppression policing, black and Latino men mter-
suggested that she allow them to escort her back to the freeway. On viewed all repotted feeling like the prey in a search and destroy hunt.
one level, the officers' concern and
courtesy should be-and were- These divergent views of containment/suppression or proactive
We're here to maintain policing converge on one point: it is a harsh strategy that abides unac-
greatly appreciated. On another, their
control between civilization actions could only have resulted from ceptably high levels of violence from the public and the police. And
and utter chaos. an unmistakable understanding of the its aggravming corollary, the "thin blue line" model, allocates public
LAPIJ Dllic•• PlilrullillUIr:{AI'Il invisible blue line and who belongs in safety resources sufficient to contain violence but not stabilize crime
(ABC Tlilwilill Brlljmt Jill 1.2004 safer areas on the right side of it.'" or provide safety. As one Southeast g',mg officer summed it up:

Just as treatment of individuals on either side of that line can They really don't want to know everything that occurs down
differ, so does the policing. In low-crime neighborhoods, the here. And they don't put us in a position to win. We're not here
public enjoys relative safety and the absence of brutality. In the to win anything. We're here to maintain control between civi-
high crime hotspots of LA's underc1ass, the public receives crime lization and utter chaos. 111at's all we're here for. Until they're
suppression and violence containment. willing to give us everything that we need to win, and all the
resources that go with it, they don't want us to win.
Officers view containment/suppression tactics as proactive policing Pril1ldi"" n~fSdOJ:UPD (ABC Television Broade. ... June I. zoot)
that preempts crime and compensates for having too few officers in
high crime zones."" It allows police to amplify their presence 111e City should heed this officer's challenge to end its lose-lose
through tactics that range from persistent pretexrual stops of resi- game of public safety blue lining. The parallel challenge of this
dents, to sweeping dragnets, repeated roundups, pat down and report is for the city to change the chronic anorexia of its "thin blue
prone out stops, random searches, constant questioning, entenng line" public safety model under which high crime hotspots often
names into the gang database, photographing rattoos, ordering get triage, violence containment strategies, suppression tactics and
Running Page #30

other stopgap palliatives instead of acrual public safety. Los inals and the majority of the community who are just trying to survive.
Angeles needs to move to a model that can deliver public safety To them, the only surprise about the Rampan CRASH crisis was that
citywide. As policing expert John Linder put it after analyzing Los the City's elite seemed shocked about the misconduct; residents who
Angeles' public safety landscape for over a year. live on the wrong side of the "thin blue line" believe that officers put
cases on innocent people and lie to protect themselves all of the time.
We have only enough police officers here to make certain that
the wealthier neighborhoods stay safe ... IT]he question For their pan, the police view high crime zones as violent, hopeless
that... Los Angeles has to confront is... Do we want to make the and without v"Jlues. Manyofficers feel endangered and under siege.
whole city safe? They understand but dislike residents' reluctance to testify and
Pn·_._ TAMnday:LltPD (ABC Tclevi";on Broad",,«. June l. 2001). otherwise help them fight crime. They do not undersrand why the
community attacks police every chance they get, but does not
The answer to this question should be yes. It is not solely a ques- protest against violent gang
tion of morality, although it is morally wrong for some children to members and their cult of
have to dodge bullets to get to school. It is a question of the City's destruction. In their view, police Everyone behind the tape could
long-term survival. High crime hotspots left untreated will spread put their lives on the line to say to cops, 'We can't have safe
and eventually endanger safe areas. And solving crime and fighting protect people, but their efforts streets without you: But there is
terrorism require public cooperation, which requires trust, the one are often unappreciated and even
zero mutuality. No cops are saying,
thing precluded under containment/suppression policing and the resented. Put in dangerous
"thin blue line" model. communities with insufficient 'We can't do IT WIThout you, We
backup and without what's need you to keep streets safe:...
Conclusion 11.3. needed to fight hopeless "wars" The irony is no [cops] inside the
Aggressive, Untargeted Proactive Policing Destrosy on drugs and g'Jngs, some police yellow tape knew more than [us]
Public- Police Trust feel they pay too high a price for
too many failed families and outside it. WililAPD reward cops
Under proactive policing, the costs are high to impacted communi- failed public policies. And to who stay in the community? Will
ties and the police who patrol them. But the most dangerous cost is avoid paying the ultimate price, you advance their salary? Officers
to trust. In crime-ridden hotspots, there is a multi-faceted trust gap they will do whatever it takes to promote to swat or detectives-they
among residents who fear each other and their children who are in make it home at night.
g'.lngs, between racial groups, between the public and government
want out of here fast.
instiunions, and benveen the public and the police. But it is the Dozens of residents and officers liIIgklla'mllll...
public-police trust gap that is dangerously wide. Too often the trust who work in high crime divisions
needed to fight crime and create safer conditions dissolves in the testified about the dynamics that destroy trust between the public
hostility between police and the public. The subtext between them and police. But some officers believe just as finnly that protests
is one of combat. Too many residents in the City's high crime against LAPD's proactive policing are irrelevant "rabble rousing" that
hotspots view LAPD more as persecutor than protector. In their contmdicts the silent majority's suppon of LAPD. From the vantage
minds, LAPD does not distinguish between the few dangerous crim- point of these officers, this is a reasonable view to have since no polls
Running Page #31
20 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A ........~ • •

esmblish what residents in Rampart or Southeast Divisions want from kindling for the fires of urban riots so often lit by the match of
or think of LAP D. But if LAP 0 had broad support and trust from the police abuse:
larger communities of South Bureau, the Sranley Miller flashlight
strikes, the Devin Brown shooting, the Suzie Pena shooting and the In examining the sickness in the center of our city, what has
confrontation with Nation of Islam Minister Tony Mohammad would depressed and stunned us most is the dull, devastating spiral of
not have triggered the rage or political emergencies that they did." failure that awaits the average disadv·Jntaged child in the urban
LAPD mistakes and confrontations should not evoke an automatic core ... IU]nemployment in the disadvantaged areas runs two to
presumption of depanment malfeasance. But they do. And police three times the county avemge, and the employment aV·Jilable
errors should not be atpable of so easily setting this City on peril's is too often intermittent. A family whose breadwinner is chron-
edge. But they are. This goes beyond activists in the press; there is a ically out of work is almost invariably a disintegrating family.
police-public fnlst gap born of decades of public-police friction. And Crime mtes soar and welfare rolls increase, even faster than the
it is important to detennine its scope and attributes in order to end it. population ... lThese] conditions in our city ... underlay the
gathering anger which impelled the rioters to escalate the
Conclusion 11.4. routine arrest of a drunken driver into six days of violence.
The City Bears Responsibility for Failing to Provide Resources McCone Report at 5-6,
for a Citywide Public Saftty Model
This pamgraph still applies forty years later to Los Angeles' current
Los Angeles leaders bear significant responsibility for the City's urban underclass." 1lle City's spiml of failure continues. While condi-
policing problems because they have failed to end the "thin blue tions have improved significantly for most working and middle class
line" model or to provide the resources needed for citywide minorities, the underclass remains de\"'Jstated. Los Angeles' borrom-
public safety. The City regularly considers plans to marginally filng poor are the most aggmvated pan of a national trend of the poorest
increase the numbers of officers but has not determined what city- of the poor getting poorer.'" Average unemployment rates for the
wide public safety would cost. Los Angeles' policing crises will not county's black and Latino males remain higher than those for whites.'s
recede until City leadership provides the resources that permit the However, for underclass black and Latino males-many of who
department to end containment! suppression policing, improve the dropped out of school and have never been in the workforce---unem-
police to population ratio, end the police-public hostility, and ployment is significantly higher with some estimates as high as 70%.>6
change policing strategies in high crime areas where public safety An estimated one-third of black
is not sufficiently established. men and 17% of Latinos born in
Los Angeles in 2001 are likely to
We have a 30-year gang
Conclusion 11.5. go to prison in their lifetime, problem. It is getting worse, gang
The City Has Failed to Heed the 40-Year-Old McCone Commission compared with 6% of white men." members are getting more violent
Warning to Fix the "Sicktuss in the Center of Our City" that Fuels Drop out mtes at one predomi- and we do the exact same thing
Public-Police Friction and Riots nantly minority urban core high
we have done for 30 years.
school in Watts are estimated to
In its analysis of LAPD's role in the 1965 riots, the McCone exceed 60%.'" LAPIJ IiItIJ lIfic.1.11 lh.10 ytBlIlII fell.
Commission warned the City to end the conditions that provide the
Running Page #32

But the averages and means of smtistics do not begin to capture the hatred of the police." (.~-IcCone Report at 2.) Los Angeles must
misery of the worst urban core conditions. Violence in underclass Los reframe the mission of public safery to focus on curing "the sick-
Angeles can peak to unimaginable levels. Grandmothers report ness in the center of our city" and stopping the "spiral of failure"
putting children to bed in bathtubs to protect them from gunfire. In that the McCone Commission articulated as primordial barriers to
2004, just one of South Bureau's four divisions, Southeast, had more reducing public-police friction and advancing police reform.
murders than six states combined." In the same year, the murder rate
in South Bureau \I"JS more than five times the national average."" In For example, the Los Angeles Unified School District has failed
just one year, shootings at police officers in South Bureau increased to recognize the need to develop radically different models for
80%:' There is no other s\\"ath of territory like it in the United States. operating schools in hot zone neighborhoods to provide educa-
In the most dangerous neighborhoods, chil- tion and facilitate school safety and public
dren test at civil war levels for PostTraumatic safery.
Stress Syndrome..·'Incarceration rates in these No Los Angeles resident is safe as long
poorest communities are high. And with no as gang violence continues unabated. But Moreover, public institutions have failed to
rehabilitation, two-thirds will fail the parole too many in 'safe' neighborhoods close their su pport programs tha t increase job crea tion
g'auntlet and return to prison-repeatedly." and crime prevention. Employment and
Not that there are many jobs anyway. llle
eyes to the threat mistakenly believing it income are by far the strongest correlations
economy in these areas is largely underground is a gang-on-gang problem that can be to gang homicides in Los Angeles. os And
with much of it illegaL'" contained to certain sections of the city. But over-incarceration of youth aggravates
residents of City areas once considered delinquent behavior and recidivism. Yet
lllese are not just underclass poverty most public safety funding goes to incar-
havens from violence are being attacked
descriptors; they are the trigger conditions ceration, not prevention and job creation.
for the City's next riot. in increasing numbers as gangs and other
violent criminals expand their territory... The private sector also bears some responsi-
South Bureau is not the only area of the City 'r
~AI'Il All rl kIM 1.1ir lilA• • 1M' IJ .. 111 AIr- bility for failing to improve conditions in the
with debilitating conditions that spawn '1). f.r~ Sr. B.11I5 !lk'I1& 28, 2l1J() City's poorest communities. llle non-profit
dangerous enclaves. Neighborhoods in the sector, philanthropic sector and other civic
East Valley; Central and East Los Angeles sectors have failed to develop, fund or imple-
share similar deficits, hurdles and high crime. It is these areas ment effective solutions to the problems engulfing Los Angeles'
that the City must face if it fails to move from the containment! poorest high crime neighborhoods.
suppression they currently receive to the cirywide public safery
envisioned by the McCone Commission. Conclusion 11.6.
Pllblic alJd Private ItlStitlitions Have Not DOlle EIJOligh to Stabilize
The McCone Commission cited the "tinder-igniting" factors such Distressed C011l11lllIJities
as those noted above as the fundamental causes of the riots that
swept seven eastern cities in 1964 and Los Angeles in 1965: "not City and county instinltions have failed to provide effective strategies
enough jobs ... not enough schooling ... land] a resentment, even that red uce the aggravating factors in poor neighborhoods and deliver
Running Page #33
22 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A ........~ • •

services that meet the challenges in high crime hotspots of Los Angeles. Recommendations Regarding External Barriers
Schools, medical instimtions, housing authorities, public welfare, To Replicating The Rampart Transformation In
child welfare, probation, parole, gang prevention and other public High Crime Divisions
bureaucmcies need to revamp how they meet these challenges.
Recommendation 11.1.
Conclusion 11.7. ItJ Order to Increase Trust fl1Jd Public-Police CooperatiolJ, LAPD
Communities and Families Have Not Dotle Enough to Confront Should Transition from Proactive/Suppression Policing to the High
fl1Jd COUIJter the Culture of ViolelJce fl1Jd DestructiolJ OvertaJ:ilJg Road Policing DemollStmted ilJ the Rampart DivisiolJ TUr!Jflrou1Jd
Some Poor Neighborhoods
Public-Police trouble is all but
Having the trust of the public has
Residents of these distressed communities must also share the guaranteed when even a small
blame. Too few Los Angeles families, local leaders and neighbor- number of officers with a to be one of the prime objectives of
hood organizations in low-income, high crime areas have taken "war" mentality, "high recap" any law enforcement agency. With-
sufficient responsibility for countering the social disintegra- outlook and no nexus to the ouL. the public's trust it becomes
tion and cult of destruction people or their problems are difficuk, if not impossible, to police
engulfing hotspot areas of dropped onto the streets of
I think the problems and pointing any particular jurisdiction.
LA. If these areas do not relatively violent, poverty
fingers [at] who's responsible is not the receive the strategies and stricken areas. With no re- ltJitId S. . O...rtn8RI" .kIsti:I, "Misllnwct
II Conu~g • ..wili"J 1hI1q11rdnl Crisi: 1998.
answer because we all have aportion resources to mount a move- sources or mandate to solve the
In play in this. The whole communITy ment to end the violence, it larger problems and no possi-
will spread. bility of ever making anyone "safe," it is almost inevitable that from
has to come together. We all have to
some officers you will get callous and capricious policing. And offi-
say we're going to stop this. As for their more privileged cers who reject the "us versus them" menCllity and try to do their
Jaqlll,. Si..... PNi.1Il II WIIltJ Nlig'''n•• Conil.
counterparts, Angelinos who jobs with compassion, respect and awareness of community
rill rI til Cilr: iii WI, aWIlli (KPII rllil lrlljcul,
enJoy safe, non-violent complexities report still having to struggle against strong internal
JI~ 21.2005)
neighborhoods have failed rejection from officers who view such policing as "getting too close
to demand that politicians forge competent, cost-efficient and to the enemy." LAPD needs to end this silent tussle and openly
effective solutions to counter the gtowing violence in Los Angeles' debate which road its culture should take. Department leaders
hotspots. Indeed, advantaged communities evince far too much need to forge department-wide consensus on which elements of
complacency about the five-alarm conditions festering within proactive policing should be kept while moving to make predomi-
fifteen miles of their safe zones. The Los Angeles body politic nant the policing and mentality modeled by Chief Branon, key
must support and fund cit)"vide public safety. members of South Bureau command, innovative leaders of other
divisions and the leaders of the Rampart transfonnation.
Running Page #34

Recommendation 11.2. yet to learn that lesson. TIle continuing relev"'Jnce to police reform of
The City and LAPD Should End "Thin Blue Line" Policing and the McCone Commission's mandate to arrest spiraling deterioration
Develop a Blueprintfor Funding and Providing Citycide Public Safety in poor communities is borne out by the fact that officers identified
relatively stable community cond itions as key to the successful trans-
The City should work with LAPD and experts to develop a new formation of Rampart Division. City leadership must give voters a
policing model that will take the City from "thin blue line" policing competent and efficient strategy that is capable of stabilizing LA's
to the high road policing demonstrated in the Rampart Division hotspots and beginning the transition to citywide public safety.
turnaround. TIle City should work with the Police Commission
and the Chief of Police to determine the costs and cost savings of a If the City keeps the "thin blue line" model and continues to ignore
citywide public safety model. They should explore reinvestment, this mandate, it should expect public-police eruptions to continue
redeployment, reotganization, new funding sources, cross-agency and the violence currently contained in poor areas to metastasize.
cooperation and other strategies for reducing crime in neighbor-
hoods that do not have sufficient public safety. Recommendation 11.4.
Public and Private Institutions AtlISt Find and Fund More Effective
At a minimum, the City must provide robust support systems that Solutions for Improving Conditions in Poor, High Crime Communities
buttress current pol icing, including state of the art technology, multi-
lingual translation, community experts who can help officers under- In addition to the City developing much more robust and effective
stand community dynamics, communication equipment, instant strategies, business and philanthropic sectors must help these
community referral resources accessible from squad cars, instant communities and families by co-creating and funding coordinated
mapping capacity, access to mental health and medical backup and efforts by competent neighborhood-fluent groups to jointly
many other capacities that problem solving policing requires. execute strategies capable of stabilizing these communities.

Recommendation 11.3. Recommendation 11.5.


The City Should Fulfill the McCone Commission Mandate to End Rrsidmlf ofHigh Crime COIf/1//llnitirs
"the Spiral of Failure" that Seeds Public-Police Conflict Alust Take Responsibility for aNd The only ~ing left for hlack
Receive Rrsourres Needed to Counter
men is prison or death. or peace
With recent initiatives by Mayor Villaraigosa, the City and Los the Culture of Vio!e1J(l!
Angeles County to jointly confront urban poverty and to radically
and survival... the only way to
change the norm of chronic failure in public education, some of Too few Los Angeles families, local beat the prison industrial com-
these external roadblocks that the McCone Commission first leaders and neighborhood organiza- plex is to shut it down. The only
flagged arc finally beginning to get attention. But the City has not tions in low-income, high crime way to keep mortuaries from
come to grips with the scale of change needed or what it means to areas have taken sufficient responsi-
becoming millionaires is to stop
end the spiral of failure. bility for countering the social
disintegration and cu It of destruc- the killing ... Now ifs up to the
By documenting the nexus between entrenched, dysfunctional tion engulfing hotspot areas in LA rest of us to help them.
poverty and public-police friction, the McCone Commission prop- County. LA's other more advan- Artlllnr AllII~h' Sallllt t. Asplas Sa_t
erly reframed the public safety debate. Forty years later, the City has taged sectors, including the public Mlrdi 2006
Running Page #35
24 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • ..... ~ • •

schools, must help these communities and families launch a social Evidence of improvement also can be seen in the striking increase
movement to effectively compete with and end the violence and in cooperation with the Inspector General, more rigorous complaint
other dysfunction of la vida 10«1. procedures, the sepamtion of administrative and criminal officer
complaint investigations, and the completion of dozens of other
1I1.INTERNIlL BIlRRIERS TO REPLICIlTING changes that LAPD had resisted making for decades. Current
THE RIlMPIlRT TRIlNSFORMIlTION: CHIlNGES department leaders have a clear commitment to achieving a trans-
NEEDED IN LIlPD EVEN IF THE EXTERNIlL parent, accountable and fair department, and innovative leaders of
BIlRRIERS REMIlIN the Rampart Division transformation and a few other divisions have
made high road policing happen on the ground. Accounrability-
Conclusions Regarding Internal Barriers To the touchstone of police reform-is on the rise. The discipline of
Replicating The Rampart Transformation self-monitoring spurred by Consent Decree compliance and the
increased possibiliry of getting caught in a sting have boosted offi-
Conclusion 111.1. cers' awareness that they may have to answer for their actions. And
Current Reforms, While Significant, Are Not Sufficient to Prevmt with the recent overhaul of the fonner Internal Affairs Division,
Corroption ReCtlfTetJce, Fix Longstanding Problems or Take the misconduct investig'Jtions have improved markedly. Indeed, if the
Rampart TrmJSfor11latiolJ Depart11lt1lt-wide investigation protocol and expertise levels observed by this Panel
in the Devin Brown and Stanley Miller investig'Jtions were the
TIle department has improved in innumerable 'VJyS. Even prior to nonn, the perennial alarms over the quality ofLAPD investigations
the current leadetship's accelemted changes in use of force policy, and accountabiliry for excessive force would become unnecessary.
discipline, misconduct investigations, and scores of other areas, the
department had many reform projects underway. Dozens of With all of this progress, the department should be well on its way to
internal LAPD proposals, initiatives and plans from department operating as an effective crime fighting org'Jnization that has public
leaders, planning division, bureau projects and task forces routinely trust and cooperation---even in troubled high crime divisions. But far
propose improvements in every LAPD function imaginable-force too many community interviewees from high crime divisions report
policy, organization structure, tactics, investigations, discipline, continued friction, open hostility and no evidence in their streets of
training, weapons, recruitment, academy training, supervision, usc these top tier changes. More importantly, many officers and key
of force, fair discipline, patrol improvement, performance eV"Jlua- players in the criminal justice system warn that current refonns have
tion, bias, retaliation, cronyism, racial tension, the role of the not sufficiently addressed problems that drove the CRASH scandal
inspector general, commission operations, etc. And over the past and are not robust enough to solve longstanding problems or imple-
decades, dozens of department reports and every blue ribbon tome ment the Rampart transformation department-wide.
for the past forry years have offered hundreds of recommendations
to improve monitoring mechanisms, policy, organization, tactics, So why can't these reforms definitively correct problems that drove
and internal accountabiliry. A small library of documents leaves no the CRASH scandal or fix other longstanding problems that block
question that the department works consrantly to improve these moving to the policing showcased by the Rampart turnaround?
systems---sometimes in response to scandals or lawsuit settle-
ments, but often because of internal direction. There are many reasons, srarting with the fact that several key prob-
lems identified as factors in the Rampart CRASH crisis have not
been sufficiently fixed.
Running Page #36

Conclusion 111.2. 1lle majority of officers and supervisors down the chain of
SlIperoision Has Improved in Specific Divisions but Not command, however, had little positive to report about the current
Sufficimtly to Prevetlf Scandal ReclIrretJce state of department supervision. They derailed multiple problems
that some contend pose threats similar to the dangers of the
Supervision, the sine qua non of the Rampart CRASH crisis, is the CRASH failures. They unanimously reported that too many super-
one factor that absolutely must be fixed to avoid another scandal. visors still are driven more by the values of "wanting to be liked"
The primary reason that CRASH misconduct metastasized into a and "go along to get along" than by the values of holding officers
crisis was "a systematic failure of supervision."" Prior reports accounmble. Many supervisors continue the LAPD tradition of
determined that Rampart Division supervisors were absent, burned "passing the lemons"-transferring problem officers rather than
out and conflicted. Some CRASH supervisors lacked sufficient taking responsibility for retraining or firing them. And supervisors
experience to exert control over the renegade g~mg unit, others who enforce policy and correct bad attitudes complain that they too
ignored warning signs, and others simply deferred to peer leaders often receive inadequate support from superiors." All supervisors
and allowed the unit to police itsel£ When interviewed for this from high crime divisions reported they are too overwhelmed by
report, former Central Bureau paperwork and the challenges of
leaders accepted responsibility after If I'd known iliat a'by tbe book' sergeant could bave turned the compressed work schedules to
the fact for failing to tmnsfer burned properly supervise officers. As one
up on my street action at any given time. I wouldn't have tried
out supervisors and rein in supervi- twenty-year veteran supervIsor
sors who shielded misconduct at to get away witb ailiird of what Idid. described what he views as a crisis,
Rampart Division. These division- "\Ve are so under deployed, so tied
wide failures evident in supervision to the desk. As a Watch Commander,
at Rampart Area in 1998 are not evident in any division today. But if you are one of my supervisees, you could be doing strong-arm
today's supervision picture is mixed. robberies and I wouldn't know it until the feds walk in."

LAPD SUPERVISION IN 2006 MANY OFFICERS REPORTED THAT PEER LEADERS


STILL CHALLENGE AUTHORITY

Top commanders and leaders of the rank and file know the impor-
tance of not fixing supervision and see Consent Decree provisions On another dynamic that was central to CRASH officers' resistance
on supervision as the beginning of what's needed to bring LAPD to supervision, supervisor and officer interviewees confirmed that
supervision to a satisfactory state. They also agree that controlling troops still look to veteran members of the rank and file who are
officers in specialized units is important and are aware that there viewed as more knowledgeable and qualified to lead than higher
are too few supervisors for adequate coverage and that the quality ranked but less experienced supervisors. The rank and file argue
of field supervision remains a problem. The good news is that key that supervisors who have never done the actual police work or
leaders in the current command know what effective supervision is. completed the relevant training cannot be trusted to manage units
And, more importantly, they have identified the exceptional super- to ensure officer safety, so they listen to the watch veterans. They
vision showcased in the Rampart Division transformation as the also note that supervisors like the Rampart Division change agents
new standard and are rapidly promoting such supervisors to who mentor, teach and invest in their officers are the exception to
entrench their supervision ethos.
Running Page #37
26 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • ..... ~ • •

the LAPD supervision norm. Although supervisors and officers "play shooting," and filed a comment card, but no complaint.
disagreed on whether peer leaders playa positive role, they agreed Although a command officer later intervened for stronger action, a
that the department has not decoded or addressed the underlying replica gun in this setting shou ld have triggered a srand down alert
mistrust that drives the power of peer leaders to continue to under- and unit review by the officer's immediate supervisor. It did not.
mme supervIsion. In a second incident three weeks later in the same Bureau, mainte-
nance crews discovered another unauthorized weapon in another
FIRST LINE SUPERVISION MAY STILL FAIL TO squad car. Both matters remain unresolved with investigations
CORRECT SCANDAL RELA YED BEHAVIOR pending.

First line supervision, the supervisors who monitor officers' daily In the third example of first line supervision lapses, fewer than four
actions in the field, remains too weak. On the geneml state of this years after the scandal that ruined its name, the new gang unit in
level of supervision, interviewees agreed that first line supervisors Rampart Division bought black hats with symbols to wear off duty.
remain the source of controversial street confrontations caught on Although this 'V.lS identical to Rampart CRASH behavior tied to the
videotape. Officers urged concentrated tmining, better grooming mindset that fueled the crisis,""first line supervisors raised a ques-
and selection of first line tion bur did not halt the activity or order an immediate review of the
supervisors. They strongly scandal's lessons. Again, it was only command level supervisors who
There has heen a hell of a lot of urged department brass to recognized the magnitude of the danger or saw the nexus to the
improvement in supervision. But in our join rank and file leaders to scandal. And in a fourth example, a videompe of an officer pepper
view. there is still potential [for it to find ways to increase training spraying a handcuffed suspect in the back of a squad car contra-
happen again] if the same mistakes and rewire incentives so that dicted arrest reports that portrayed an "aggressive combative"
first line supervision attracts suspect had provoked the spraying. The field supervisor who was
are made.
and keeps a high level of present at the arrest did not
LAPO Slfel'lisat 01111 fl. 20 .,..1 III illCI
performance. require that the arrest reports
be corrected or discipline the We have heard this conversation
TIle Panel heard four examples of supervision lapses that, if true, officers. TIle city attorney, about weak supervision since 1981.
suggest that the lessons of CRASH scandal supervision failures who also did not report the You hear talk of forgiveness. allowing
have not been adequately learned at this key level of department officers' apparent misconduct,
mistakes. but this is 2005. Same
accountability. had to drop the case.
conversation. same place. Everyone
They involve signature behaviors of the scandal that failed to While overwhelmed supervI- here knows what good supervision
provoke strong intervention from first line supervisors. In the first sors cannot be expected to should he. At some poinllook at ~e
incident, despite evidence that rogue CRASH officers carried stop every instance of misbe- guy who is hiring the supervisors and
replica or "throw-down" guns to plant on framed suspects, a super- havior, they should be
see whether he will hire the right
visor in 2005 apparently saw no need to file a complaint ag'.Iinst an expected to intervene in clear
officer whose replica gun was discovered in his squad car. The misconduct when they see it. people.
supervisor allegedly accepted an explanation that the gun was for This Panel cannot determine
Running Page #38

if these examples indicate a broader problem. At minimum, if they investigators and sheriffs inter- Investigations have gotten
are confirmed as accurate, they indicate that the most basic lessons viewed by this Panel confirm with
of the scandal about the need for strong su pervision have not raken specific examples that the quality
better. but a lot of ~em are still
hold on the ground level in some divisions with some first line of LAPD investigations and the crap. And don't put pressure on
supervisors. The department needs to consider that, while the skilllevcls of investigators remain 'em to get something closed: all
provisions of the Consent Decree" have increased supervision very uneven and in some cases kinds of comers get ClJt.
presence and the timeliness of supervisor training, it will have to alarmingly deficient. And a
lAPD SI,llWilt nll8 ,IBI 25 yelllll!la
take more aggressive measures to reach the level of current prob- review of civil lawsuits in which
lems reported to the Panel. LAPD testimony appeared prob-
lematic and interviews with plaintiffs' counsel, public defenders
Conclusion 111.3. and judges confirm continuing gaps in checks on officer veracity.
Investigation Quality Has Improt.it:d Significantly, but Remains Uneven
Conclusion 111.4.
Investigation quality presents an example of a problem where the Cu/tum/ Factors that Contributed to the CRASH Afindset Remain
department has made significant improvement, bur has a way to go
before it is satisfactorily resolved. For example, after many years of The Drooyan and Chemerinsky Reports concluded that the
LAPD failing to do so, PSB has subsrantially separated administra- Rampart CRASH crisis was richly seeded by LAPD culture and
tive investigations from criminal investigations. This separation mindser. s2 1llis Panel agrees. 1lle proximate causes of the
enhances the integrity of each investigation and preserves a spec- Rampart CRASH crisis were LAP D's codes of "warrior policing,"
trum of options for ultimate resolution. PSB also has made signifi- loyalty, silence, retaliation, control and aggression. LAPD hero
cant strides in implementing the Consent Decree mandated officer worship of officers viewed as hotshots propelled blind backing of
integrity stings. Investig'.Itor training in PSB represents some of the Perez and other CRASH offenders. Officers aggravated the
best training in the department. And PSB has improved the LAPD ethos of strong control-maintaining "the Grip"-with a
training of departmental Boards of Rights advocates, despite the warrior mentality that rationalized extreme responses to spiraling
fundamental flaws with that adjudication system. crime. And political pressure to reduce that spiral produced a
distorted focus on recap numbers that fueled tendencies to use
However, even in this better trained unit of investigators, prob- "any means necessary." 1lle code of loyalty became a perverse
lems remain. In January 2006, a limited sampling of citizen shield of misconduct that almost all officers condemn. LAPD's
complaint investig'.Itions examined by the Inspector General reflexive reraliation ag'.Iinst whistle blowers shut out early warn-
found (i) significant omissions, (ii) summarized statements contra- ings and shut down good officers who tried to intervene in
dicted by taped evidence, and (iii) other indicia of investigation CRASH excesses. And the code of silence licensed many officers
deficiencies serious enough to affect adjudication.'" And depart- who may not have known about the drug crimes but did know of
ment-wide, investigation quality is an even more serious concern. abuses, to look the other way. The code of silence also enforced
Neither the Police Commission nor the DIG can ensure the another LAPD prime directive: protect the department's image at
integrity, timeliness or quality of many investigations conducted all costs.
by LAPD.s, Experienced LAPD detectives, FBI agents, JSID
Running Page #39
28 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A ........~ • •

Almost no one interviewed thought that LAPD sufficiently under- they view as breaking the code of silence, threatening the depart-
stands the role that the department's reflexes, cues and customs ment's image or othenl,ise exhibiting "disloyalty."
played in the CRASH crisis or adequately counters their role in
today's continuing deficiencies. The Panel agrees with the many Ongoing retaliation lawsuits and The culture hasn't changed.
interviewees who stated that the deeper cultural drivers of the recent Los Angeles Times reports We have 'Rampart' brewing in
CRASH crisis still pose a cloaked and present danger. The likeli- suggest that the department still
hood of scandal recurrence will not be adequately minimized until does not understand this issue.
Southeast
LAPD addresses the underlying codes, reflexes and customs that TIle Times has recently published LAPO Sergllft. mill .... 20 \'811111 im:I

produce the following problems: several reports about an Internal


Affairs officer who alleges he was retaliated ag'.Iinst for pursuing an
RETALIATION: "SHOOTING SERPICO" investigation into whether LAPD had falsely arrested and helped
convict a man for murdering his mother more than twenty years
Retaliation is so integral to LAPD culture that judicial notice of its ago. so
role is in order. SJ
In 2006, the department issued a draft anti-reraliation policy and
This Panel found that when whistle-blowers, including supervisors, currently has two sergeants staffing the anti-retaliation efforts. The
tried to intervene in renC!;.Ide conduct of CRASH officers, they sufficiency of this response should receive close monitoring.
were removed, transferred, ostracized and/or investigated with
unfounded complaints in retaliation for the objections they mised. BUNKER MENTALITY: "US VERSUS THEM"
When a supervisor on loan to Rampart Area in 1996 inspected the
off site CRASH trailer and saw the "trophy wall" of suspects' belts, LAP D's "us versus them" outlook is receding with younger officers
bandanas, and other belongings, he immediately reported, "Houston, and in low crime divisions, but it is still prevalent in many high
we've got a problem; these guys crime divisions where it is not recognized as a problem but as a
are out of control and are going necessary mentality for surviving the dangers. Rafael Perez testi-
[1]he prohlems at ~e [LAPD]'s fied to the extreme "bunker mentality" of the Rampart CRASH.
to get us killed." Just as imme-
Rampart Division are cultural in diately, a captain removed him For officers "in the loop," the "us versus them" mentality extended
nature, the result of an institutional and he was f.lcing seveml anony- to all non-CRASH officers-in particular supervisors who tried to
mind-set first conceived ... to survive mous, baseless complaints and exercise authority.
Internal Aff.lirs investig'.Itions.
repeated attacks from outside the
WARRIOR MENTALITY
department. Unless this police culture LAPD officers have used
is overthrown, future Rampart scandals systems of performance ev....Ilua- It is important to note that the hold of LAPD's old warrior culture
are inevitable. tions, job assignments, trans- is fading, but it is still a factor with which to contend. The "gang-
fers, promotions and even ster cop" mentality portrayed in Perez' description of officers "in
Ouid 0. Ollblll, .118 LAPIJ Asislin! D1i11t
lAPIJ Conuplion: ACub. Ii Wat"t• .4I"'J i ... discipline as weapons of retali- the loop" has its roots in LAPD's traditional \\mrior outlook. Most
Fllilllry21.2000 ation ag'.Iinst officers whom LAPD officers are not warrior cops. But most LAPD heroes are.
Running Page #40

TIle department's paramilitary bent, the "thin blue line" credo and protect and serve your partner. All else is secondary. So whether he
society's framing of crime as war (the war on drugs, the war on is stretching truth, you protect him." This dynamic is intertwined
g',lngs) arc three d rivers of the warrior mentality. With this outlook, with police officers' view that they cannot depend on leaders in the
crime fighting is not done by obeying rules; it is done by breaking department, politicians, prosecutors or the courts to protect officers
them. As one officer stated, "We know what they lthe publicI want. or their cases so they must depend on each other-in the bunker.
TIley want to be safe in their beds at night, and they don't care how
we make that happen." Officers with this mindset ignore rules for EXCESSIVE FORCE AS THE NORM
escalating force and have contempt for constitutional constraints.
The department needs incentives that counter this mentality. The Board of Inquiry suggests a need to examine whether
engrained abusive ptactices increase corruption. ll When asked
ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS: whether two of the department's hallmarks-aggressive use of
COMPENSATING FOR PUBLIC FAILURES force and relentless seeking of control in high crime divisions-
greased the chute to the "gunslinger" mentality that led to CRASH
A corollary of the warrior mindset is the "ends justify means abuses, a few officers said yes, but most said they were separate
attitude. Officers report that this outlook-----documented in prior issues. This is a question that LAPD needs to look at because if the
reports-is not as predominant as it \\~JS in the past, and is nothing minority view is right, changes in the use of force culture will not
close to the levels found in CRASH misconduct. A former Rampart be achieved with new tactics and policies but only with a recalibta-
CRASH officer testified that he planted evidence only on violent tion of the use of force mindset. TIle correlation of engrained
gangbangers who, if not guilty of the crime in question, were defi- heavy handed or accelerated force in a police culture to corruption
nitely guilty of prior violations. While perhaps not approaching this has not been sufficiently explored.
level of use, this kind of thinking still drives officers to compensate
for prosecutors who won't file their cases and judges who arc stick- NUMBERS JUSTIFY THE MEANS
lers for constitutional constraints by exaggerating or fabricating
probable cause and using other rroubling tactics that they believe Sevetal interviewees pointed out that the department is in danger
are needed to "get the bad guys." LAPD needs to confront this of losing focus on another key lesson from the scandal that recap-
reality and figure out how to change the incentives that drive this LAP D's aggressive pursuit of measurable reductions in crime-if
conduct. pushed too hard, can lead
to a longstanding LAPD
The balance of ensuring productivity
THE LOYALTY TRAP tradition of data cheating
or shortcuts to achieve while not falling prey to atyranny hy llie
Dozens of officers reported that one of the prime directives of compliance.l/i Prior reports numbers is aprecarious tightrope.
LAPD's Academy instruction is to overemphasize loyalty to your on the CRASH crisis all Fmn. AI Special Ag..
partner. Indeed, loyalty to one's parmer and to other officers conclude that immense
becomes a trap in which officers elevate personal allegiance above pressure to reduce gang
loyalty to the Constitution, the truth and integrity. As one forty- violence produced an "any means necessary" and "no questions
year veteran summed up the dynamic: '''To protect and serve' is to asked" mentality that seeded the CRASH storm clouds.11 While
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officers often find excuses to resist recap, better checks against recap don't longstanding problems that everyone agrees need fixing get
abuses are a continuing need. The department needs to ensure that fixed?
data are used as an effective crime fighting tool without creating
policing by the numbets that elevates quantity over quality. Officers with decades of LAPD experience identified several
dynamics that they believe block solutions to solving the depart-
Conclusion 111.5. ment's problems and prevent the organization from moving toward
In Addition to Internal Barriers Posed by Unresolved Problems different policing. Their blunt assessments should not be mistaken
Stemmillgjrom the CRASH Sealldal, Deeper Cultural DYIJflmics as condemnation of a department they have dedicated their lives to
withill LAPD also Block Solutions to LAPD's Longstfl1ldillg Problems serving. Their observations were offered because all agree that in
order for LAPD to function effectively in 21st century Los Angeles,
Far too many officers interviewed delivered stark warnings that the department must transform itself-and that a unique moment
current changes are unlikely to stick, and that existing efforts will for charting that transformation is quickly closing. The following
fail to alter the department's entrenched hard core or filter to LA's tally of dynamics blocking deeper change is not a definitive diag-
meanest streets. In scores of interviews, LAPD command, rank nosis, but is a preliminary overview of challenges the department
and file, leaders from the different police unions and retired offi- has yet to meet.
cers of all ranks agreed: it will take a more radical and probing
agenda to sufficiently fix the department's deepest problems. FEAR

This Panel concludes that these concerns must be examined and, As noted above, many officers in high crime divisions point first to
if v"Jlid, fixed. If these critics are right, then the Consent Decree, the dangers that, in their view, prevent them from risking a move
efforts by capable change agents, innovative LAPD leaders, the from the shelter of intimidation paramilitary policing. The over-
Police Commission, the Inspector General, Public Safety whelming majority of non-white officers interviewed in such divi-
Committee, special task forces and others will fail to prevent sions also acknowledge the increased danger, but do so secondarily.
another paralyzing scandal or install the policing showcased in the These officers point first to internal cues that aggravate the danger,
recent Rampart Division overhaul. TIle improvements noted in to officer ignorance about how to assess threats in communities they
this report, in the Monitor's reports and elsewhere are important don't understand and to longstanding LAPD customs that license
advances and should receive all due acknowledgement. But they "cowboy" and "gunslinger" policing in high crime divisions. so TIle
are not enough. The testimony to this Panel-across the board- contrast in these views was striking and \\~Jrrants attention.
is that the improvements being forged, although necessary,
welcome and overdue, will be insufficient to alter enough officer CAREERISM AND CONVENIENCE
attitudes to sustain the progress, instinnionalize it department-
wide or substantially reduce the likelihood of scandal recurrence. Several influential officers from varying mnks pointed out that too
many officers view their jobs primarily in terms of what itcan do for
The question remains: Why do officers believe that recom- their careers and retirement and not in terms of public service or
mended improvements will be insufficient to permanently fix the public safety. As one veteran stated, ''They simply don't want to
department's most basic problems? Or, more to the point, why change; they resist change because it's inconvenient and they'd
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have ro give up overtime and other perks." One command levd solving problems that we think Eve~body knows who llie
officer nored, "This deparnnenr is organized more for officerconven- passing it out of the division or problems are. You see how they
ience than for public safety, or even officer safety. That's got ro on to someone else is a solution."
change." Anorher high-ranking supervisor contended that conven- LAPD assignments are often so
drive or you see how they talk to
ience has warped the functionality of LAPD structure: "LAPD is short that trying to solve a long someone... You real~e who are the
built upside down. We give the hardest jobs and the least recogni- term problem seems at best a problem children.
tion to the youngest and least experienced officers. \Ve've never waste of effort and at worst fool- tAPO LiIll.lllllll1 '1120 ",rlIlIlRI
fixed ir." In another example of inverted priorities, detectives' access hardy. Officers report little
to overtime pay transforms it into an entitlement that can override incentive to hold themselves or
common sense decisions about deployment and investigations. anyone else accountable for taking action that is likely ro get
Similar observations from respected members of the mnk and file reversed and almost certain to generate retaliation for rocking the
echo the view that LAPD too often values inapt credentials, boat. As one officer put it, "It's just easier to let it go."
cronyism and convenience at the expense of more important matters.
HEADWINDS AND UNDERTOW
THE "MEMENTO" DYNAMIC: NO INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY
Analysis of LAPD problems too often misses the underlying
Another dynamic that impedes change is LAP D's inability to pass cultuml drivers and bureaucratic inertia that override change.
down institutional knowledge about past mismkes. TIle department TIlUS, repeated mandates to "improve supervision," "end the code
often fails to even acknowledge past incidents, much less preserve, of silence," "invest in patrol" or "end retaliation" are correct, but do
document, teach or otherwise transfer lessons learned, if any; from nothing to reverse the cultural undertow drowning each change.
them. Indeed one officer remarked, "LAPD is like that movie Strong supervision requires rewiring the weak performance evalua-
'Memento.'~ Nothing sticks. We don't even tdl the guy coming tion system and the pervasive cues that condition too many super-
behind us about known problems, never mind answers. We hand visors to seek approval rather than performance from their troops.
'em the keys and say good luck." Another noted: "\Ve keep re- Ending retaliation requires the department to admit that it exists,
creating the whed and putting it back on a broken vehicle." While define it clearly and then recode and counter the unspoken codes
most officers interviewed had heard the lore about LAPD's heroes, that drive it-blind intm-officer loyalty, the grapevine culture,
few had read prior reports on LAPD problems or books about the conformity, image protection-with aggressive sanctions and
department's actual history that includes its scandals and high protections. In short, outsiders prescribe changes without under-
profile incidents. standing the internal headwinds that prevent them from happening
and insiders are afraid to pay the price of countering the culture.
ACCOUNTABILITY AVERSION The leaders of the Rampart Division transformation succeeded
because they knew how to countermand the behaviors and
Even if recruits had been exposed to LAPD's past problems, the mentality that would hinder the transition to collaborative, creative,
department's engrained aversion to reporting problems and taking problem solving policing.
responsibility for solving them would have presented another
conundrum that officers testified blunts change: "\Ve're so bad at
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REMEDIES MISS THE MARK INFORMAL PRACTICE TRUMPS FORMAL RULES

Another re3son th3r longstanding problems do nor ger solved is rl13r LAPD, like 3ll org3niz3tions, l13s two cultures: form3l3nd inform31.
proposed remedies often 3ddress symptoms too bte 3nd miss the And like most police departments, its informal culture-the
deeper problem. For eX3mple, rhe dep3rtmenr is setring up 3 unwritren cues, customs 3nd codes th3t sh3pe officer beh3vior-
computer system th3t will track complaints, discipline and other diverges from the formal. This is not problematic unless the g'.Ip
3crions th3t m3Y W3m of "problem officers." With due process bet'lveen them is too brge, cre3ting irreconcibble dU3lity. LAPD
measures and proper safeguards againsr supervisor abuse, rhis arguably crosses that threshold. For example, telling the truth is a
tr3cking system could be 3 good W3Y of identifying officers who form3l m3nd3te for LAPD officers in everything they do. But
h3ve builr 3 record of possible 3buses. Bur rhis remedy misses the inform3l m3nd3tes thw3rt compli3nce with this directive. The
facts that many in LAPD knew the actual "problem officers" at informal mandate that forbids LAPD officers to admit mistakes
R3mp3rt Division before the sC3nd3l erupted, 3nd the dep3rtmenr (dubbed the "doctrine of inf311ibility" by one interviewee) le3ds to
knows the idenrities of most current "problem officers" now. The frequent lying: "Since we can't admit we messed up, every mistake
ch3llenge is not in identifying "problem officers," but getting offi- becomes 3 lie. It gets to the point when we don't even know when
cers and supervisors to agree on what behavior is problematic, inrer- we're lying anymore." Management's inability to distinguish
ceding in "problem officer" conduct, ensuring fair treatment of between serious offenses and honest mistakes also drives this
such officers, 3nd then reprogr3mming dep3rtment ndes 3nd dyn3mic-officers lie to protect themselves from systems they
customs that shield them from intervention, retraining or removal. have concluded are arbitrary, draconian and/or unfair. In another
eX3mple, the form3l rule 3g3inst fr3terniz3tion is obliter3ted by
REALITY TRUMPS RHETORIC widespread relationships between superiors and subordinates and
3mong r3nk 3nd file." Fr3terniz3tion, one f3ctor of m3ny tl13t
Recommended c113nges 3nd proposed solutions often ignore or undemlined supervision 3t R3mp3rt Division in the e3rly 19905,
contradict existing incentives, rewards and conditions on the has trumped the rule that forbids it. LAPD's informal prime direc-
ground. Propos3ls to move to community or problem solving tives to protect the im3ge of the dep3rtment 3nd never 3dmit
policing, for example, make no sense to officers whose promotions mistakes also preclude the learning mentality that Rampart
3re b3sed prim3rily on 3rrests 3nd 3ggressive street mctics, whose Division le3ders used in its tr3nsfonTI3tion.
training never included community policing approaches and whose
supervisors view time spent investing in community rebtion- "WRESTLING THE ANTI-CHRIST":
ships or helping victims 3S w3sted overtime. 60 Unril officers get CHALLENGING THE WARRIOR MENTALITY
promoted and otherwise rewarded for averting the right arrests
inste3d of m3king 3S m3ny 3rrests 3S possible, 3nd for gener3ting LAPD's inform3l cululfe includes 3 subculture th3t prizes "w3rrior
trust that helps to solve crime, the rhetoric will conrradict practice policing."'" This hard-charging outlook that seeded and ultimately
3nd le3ve officers cynic3l 3nd uncooper3tive. 1l1is is why upper shielded the CRASH corruption is not ne3r1y 3S predomin3nr 3S it
management's acknowledgement and promotion of Rampart used to be. Nonetheless, it still holds tremendous appeal as LAP D's
Division leaders responsible for that division's turnaround was crit- core identity. The divide between this receding but still influential
iC3l to sign3ling rl13t the p3th to 3dv3ncemenr is c113nging. subcululfe's view of policing 3nd the view of Chief Bmtron 3nd the
Running Page #44

Rampart transformation crew is wide. 1l1ere is a struggle between with discipline decisions showing no consistent pattern and
officers who want to move the department toward the kind of training that changes so often that at the Board of Rights in the
policing showcased in the Rampart transformation and officers who Sranley Miller flashlight incident, the department could not estab-
do not. Of course, all police departments need a few "top guns" and lish which distraction strike rules the accused officer had been
all officers need the ability react to danger, bur that is different from raught. And differing external definitions of excessive force create
a pen"'Jsive mind set of war and intimidation. When asked what it is the damaging gulf between what poor black communities define as
like to rein in the renegade \I"Jrrior mindset, a veteran command abuse but officers define as necessary, aggressive policing.
officer responded, "It's like wrestling the Anti-Christ." Until that
wrestling match is won by the vision that transformed Rampart Area, THE TRUST DEFICIT
changes in LAPD mindset and policing will remain elusive.
It almost goes without saying that officers are wary of the depart-
DEFINITIONAL DRIFT ment's civilian overseers, but the lack of trust within LAPD is not
as widely discussed. Over years of observing and interacting with
When Rafael Perez was asked in a deposition whether someone LAPD officers and their commanders, members of the Panel have
was a "good officer," he replied, "M y 'good', or your 'good'?" A key noted a deficit of trust within the department that botches commu-
barrier to department-wide change is lack of internal consensus on nication and change. Academy recruits, pitted against each other
the meaning of terms. Within LAPD, basic definitions span an and competing to get the "right label" and "rep" that will propel
array of meanings and become code for unspoken and sometimes their careers, do not trust each other. Far too many LAPD rank and
contradictory assumptions-and no one in the organization stops to file officers do not trust department leaders to make the right deci-
clarify or reconcile the differences. For example, to the majority of sions. Factions of LAPD officers do not trust each other, and some
officers, "Rampart" is code for the entire department getting tarred openly feud. While officers openly discussed department problems
with the crimes of a few officers. In the minority view, it is code for with members of this Panel, they had not done so with their supe-
the dangers of the "gunslinger" subculture and weak management. rior command. Many rank and file, leery of some supervisor deci-
The definition of "community policing" ranges from "social work," sion-making, do not report problems to their supervisors.
to occasionally talking to the Senior Lead Officers, to doing a few Su pervisors, skeptical abou t the ability of the bureaus to sol ve prob-
neighborhood meetings, all the way to completely revamping how lems, don't report them up. And upper command staff, fearing
officers view and do their jobs. Similarly; confused views of LAPD repercussions as bearers of bad news, admit not telling the Chief
heroes create a vexing paradox. In the words of a former captain, what he needs to hear. An organization too riven with mistrust to
"One officer was like a legend. He did all the wrong things, but he communicate properly cannot achieve real consensus or earn
was idolized ... 1t is a pamdox; the people doing the most wtong are community trust. Strategies to counter this dynamic are needed.
the most popular." This pamdox is just one reason that there is no
consensus on what "problem officer" means; if the "problem offi- RESIST AND REVERT
cers" are the heroes, then there can be no consensus on what
misconduct is or how to get officers to report it. Perhaps most One of the most important reasons that longstanding problems do
damaging is the inability to agree on what constitutes excessive not get solved is that LAPD is an internally conflicted institution
force. The internal definition of excessive force is all over the map, primed to resist and reverse change. Officers learn through custom,
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code and informal command to counter unwanted changes imposed swift, sweeping and sometimes sustained. In the early 1990s when
from above or by outsiders. Rank and file officers, whom depart- LAPD K-9 officers accepted the challenge by civil rights litigators"
ment leaders rarely consu It ahou t problems or solutions, feel ignored to reduce the rates of dog bites and K-9 hospitalizations, the rates
and swamped by conflicting, constantly changing directives. As a plunged from 80% to 12% and from 41 % to less than 1% respec-
result, they automatically divert the impact of untenable changes, an tively-in less than a year. Over a decade later, plaintiffs' counsel
attitudinal carryover from the old LAPD tradition of openly circum- confirm that the K-9 Unit has maintained the 90% drop and the
venting court opinions that restrained police actions.'" That tradi- major changes in how they handle the dogs. The K-9 unit and the
tion still operates. Peer leaders and others reject unwanted changes Rampart transformation arc the most significant examples of
and then revert to preferred practice after the change agents move LAPD change that both officers and outsiders agree advances the
on. The examples arc endless. If a federal court "takes the choke- department a long way down the right road. The challenge is to get
hold" from them, LAPD officers reverse the loss by using the baton the rest of the department to buy into the outlook, skills and lead-
to the point of breaking bones, if necessary, to ership used to achieve these successes.
establish control. If police commissioners
install an unwanted outside chief, the entire ~ was never adog problem. ~ was a It is critical to move beyond syndromes of
org'.Inization-from top to bottom-mobilizes cop problem. When the cops changed resistance and reversion. LAPD leaders from
for his removal. When ordered by courts to their attitude. the hospital~ations plunged every echelon and veteran leaders of the rank
dismantle the department's library of secret and file union say they arc willing to co-chart
along with the volume of our complaint
files on Los Angeles politicians and activists, a new framework. TIle importance of this
officers moved them to a private garage and a calls. That was a90% reduction or more. support cannot be underestimated.
secret vault. \Vhen voters installed an This was major change.
inspector general, LAPD leaders blocked the The importance of key LAPD veterans from
office's ability to function. When the City every rank and within leadership ofthe Police
imposed an unwanted decree in the wake of Protective League backing and fortifying
the Rampart scandal, before the new Consent Decree Bureau took change cannot be overstated. It is crucial for veteran leaders to
control, supervisors openly disparaged the decree in roll calls. As a push for the deeper changes that they testified arc necessary to
result of this endless chess game, LAPD reforms resemble avert trouble and decreased public-police mistrust. LAPD veterans
California initiatives-fifty years of patches and unintended conse- now state openly the need for LAPD to move decisively toward
quences with no solution in sight. transparent, accountable, collaborative policing. It is veterans from
these ranks who first pioneered collaborative policing and chal-
Conclusion 111.6. lenged LAPD ways decades ago; led the transformation at Rampart
LAPD CaN Fix Itself Whm ChaNge Agmt Officers Drive Division; and asked for this Panel's investigation as a "last chance
the TmnsformatiolJ Process to get it right." LAPD veterans, many of whom a decade ago would
have condemned opening up to outsiders about department short-
The same institutional will that can obstruct, however, works comings, talked to this Panel with unstinting, sometimes scaring,
wonders when the department's rank and file agrees with a change, criticism about the deeper problems they fear will block the depart-
or better yet, creates the change. In those cases, transformation is ment they love from moving to a place where a consent decree is
Running Page #46

unnecessary and community trust is a given. Many officers do not pendent ability to assess the integrity of department systems for
agree with this new direction, bur the emergence of these leaders investigating citizen complaints and other duries as detennined by
makes fixing the deeper problems possible. In LAPD, if officers the Commission. The first Inspector General encountered hostility
don't agree to it, it doesn't get done. and open efforts by department staff to undermine her investiga-
tions. The second IG faced less resistance bur equally daunting
THE NEW DEAL challenges. TIle Drooyan Report confirmed LAPD's lack of coop-
eration with the DIG and also found that the office was severely
When asked what it would take to get them to stop resisting the understaffed and unable to conduct robust audits or investigations
imperfect Consent Decree regimen, influential rank and file of the department's handling of officer misconduct allegations or
leaders replied nothing, as long as the Decree in their view threat- monitor the complaint process..s Today the DIG enjoys acceptance
ened officers' due process and other rights. When asked what as a legitimate part of LAPD and higher resource levels. But in
they'd do if they could start from scratch, they immediately stated order to reach its potential, the office requires a more tightly
they'd begin with the new deal that Chief William Bratton focused set of duties, greater independence, expanded staff, a
proposed when he first arrived in Los Angeles: requirement for mandatory audits, job security, and power to grant
greater confidentiality and witness protection.
The era of playing 'gotcha' is over. If you make a mistake, we'll
retrain you. If you commit misconduct, we'll punish you fairly. With the proper portfolio, the DIG has the potential to become an
If you are brutal or corrupt, we will jail you. entity with the ability and power to adequately monitor LAPD's
investigations and accountability mechanisms. As things stand, it is
Officers state that they are ready to negotiate a new policing frame- the only office within LAPD with the cultural independence and
work that fixes the department's longstanding problems. They state potential capacity to hold LAP D's self-investigation apparatus to
that they are ready to end the cycle of reform, resistance and return the highest standards and performance.
to business as usual. The Police Commission should take up the
offer and appoint an action group to implement the blueprint that Conclusion 111.8.
change agent leaders from the department co-chan with this Panel. The OIG Currently Operates UIJder Constraints that Prevent It
from Functioning as the Potmt Check It Should Be
Conclusion III. 7.
The Office of !tupector Gnuralls the Oldy LAPD EIJtity with the We note above that the Office of the Inspector General has the
Potmtial Capacity to Effectively Enforce LAPD Accountability over "potential" to have the functional independence and capacity to
the Long Term hold LAPD's self-investigation apparatus to the highest standards
and performance because currently the DIG is too overburdened,
TIle Office of Inspector General is the Police Commission's only understaffed and restricted to function as the potent check it
full time professional position with a ponfolio to actively check the should be. The DIG does not have either the independence suffi-
integrity of LAPD investig'.Itions and systems of accountability. In cient to ensure integrity of the mission or the capacity to cover its
1995, voters enacted a City Charter amendment to create the Office myriad responsibilities. As the only quasi-independent entity
of the Inspector General to give the Police Commission an inde- inside the depanment with the potential to get the resources, full-
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LAPD has oversight on demand. If iliey time focus, department combativeness" but what appears to outsiders as mindless exces-
fluency and expertise sive force, or "chase rage." Similarly, when the Commission and the
ask for areport then it's welcome, but OIG-
req uired to really hold Chief modified the department's car chase policy, they re-empha-
generated efforts to examine new areas still LAPD to rigorous and sized that gunfire is a last resort for imminent threat of death or
are greeted with aggressive challenges. effective investigation serious bodily injury. The rule that force must be proportionate to
And the only time the DIG gets more and adjudication stan- the threat requires reinforcement because it is often obscured by
resources is if there's trouble. dards, this Panel con- the department's cultivation of aggressive responses. The gap
cludes that the capacity between the public's perspective on LAPD use of force and a
1II111Y. illiG ~ntilllll.
of the Office of Inspector majority of officers' views is large and getting aggravated by recent
General should be dra- high profile incidents and must be addressed if the department is
matically increased to meet a new portfolio of responsibilities that to move beyond the trust gap.
better ensures department accountability.
TIle Panel would add two caveats to the Chief's disciplinary deci-
Currently, the OIG has an overly broad portfolio and insufficient sions in these high profile matters. The first concerns how depart-
inde-pendence. Although resources have improved, the DIG lacks ment management has handled the fallout within the department.
the resources, expert investigative staff and power to guarantee Command and supervisors apparently have failed to explain the
confidentiality and accountability, cover the needed range of inves- discipline decisions, allowing rejection to undermine the lessons
tigations and ensure meaningful responses to its investigative and that officers should be learning from them. Many patrol officers do
audit findings and recommendations. not understand why an officer known for running sports programs
for underprivileged kids and trying to do "community policing"
Conclusion 111.9. was fired for administering "distraction strikes" with a flashlight to
Discipline Decisions by the Chirj 0/ Police Are Importa1Jt Tools/or a combative car thief who endangered officers with car and foot
Implemmtillg the PolicilJg Sho'!JI'Cflsed by the New Rampart Model chases. Many members of patrol view his firing as a betrayal of the
rank and file, or as one patrol officer put it, "a political cave-in to
TIle Chief of Police's recent discipline decisions have reinforced rabble rousers in the community." Department leaders must
two key attributes of the Rampart transformation model: fair treat- prevent the right actions by the Chief from generating the kind of
ment of officers and zero tolemnce for excessive force or brutality. backlash now brewing in squad rooms over high profile discipline
Chief Bratton's decision in 2003 to fire two veterans of the vaunted decisions. The second caveat is that making changes in equip-
Metro Division for lying sent a devasrating and unmisrakable signal ment, like the size of flashlights, and changes in car chase policy
that LAPD's two-tier discipline system that exempts brass and top without simultaneously addressing why officers acted the way they
guns from discipline is over. To a police force used to the exonera- did may be treating symptoms while leaving the underlying
tion of elite officers or command staff, the impact of firing problem untouched. TIle Chief of Police knows that officer
"untouchable" Metro veterans was tsunamic. And in dismissing an mindset on use of force and how officers assess threat response are
officer whose televised flashlight blows on a prone suspect sparked eq ually, if not more, important as tools and policy compliance. But
a political crisis, the Chief jolted officers unaccustomed to ques- more focus on the former is needed.
tioning what in their minds is a good response to "aggressIve
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Conclusion 111.10. drivers of department problems, the purpose of the Consent


The Fedeml GOllrt a1ld fhe G01lsmf Decree An Get/fml fo Departmmf Decree cannot be fulfilled.
Adva1lcemet/f a1ld Tra1lsjonnaf;otJ
The Decree requires information collection for reports and audits
The most imporrant external consequence of the CRASH scandal designed to check the integrity and effectiveness of LAPD
is United States District Court oversight of LAPD reform. As management. It imposes procedural changes, like removing
noted above in the section of this report calling for changes in non- complaint investigations from the chain of command and restricting
LAPD institutions, this Panel has concluded that the long history the use of police informants that reduce conflicts of interest. It
of ineffective oversight and passivity of Los Angeles criminal requires more rigorous investigation protocols for serious crimes
justice institutions and the short political attention span prod uced and uses of force, tighter constraints on abuse prone areas like
by term limits make the federal court the only entity with the inde- informants, and specific actions to counter racial profiling and
pendence, power and sustained focus capable of ensuring that the mishandling of the mentally ill. Perhaps most importantly, it
City and LAPD maintain current reform efforts. requires LAPD to shift from a reactive to a preventive outlook by
developing risk assessment and early intervention systems.
The main instrument of the federal court's oversight is the federal
Consent Decree. The Decree settled a lawsuit filed by DO] The process of compliance with the Consent Decree is moving the
Washington in the wake of the Rampart CRASH scandal ag'.Iinst department into habits of dara collection and monitoring that
LAPD and the City of Los Angeles for engaging in a pattern and increase supervisors' ability to pre-empt and inoculate against
practice of unconstitutional and other illegal misconduct. The unchecked misconduct. If Rampart supervisors had been required
prime purpose of the Consent Decree is to prevent the abuses of to review data and aud it officer acti vity in the street, they may ha ve
the RampartCRASH scandal from recurring. It is a set of mandates been forced to see the suspicious pattern of identical incident
that echoes many of the recommendations of the Board of Inq uiry reports and incredulous stories of suspects repeatedly dropping
to fix scandal related and other failures in LAPD management, rocks of cocaine on the ground in front of officers.
supervision, risk assessment, discipline, investigations, specialized
unit operations, training, Police TIle importance of the Decree is that it is forging a mind set of more
Commission oversight and rigorous accountability, transparency, and automatic checks-
The Decree makes us better. It Inspector General operations. behaviors that are not LAPD customs and that officers testified are
has improved alot of systems. not consistently or sufficiently present in today's LAPD. Perhaps
This Panel concludes that the most significantly, the process of self-examination forced by the
federal court is the singular Decree undercuts the "ends justify the means" and "gunslinger"
entity capable of keeping the mentalities that warp police conduct.
City and the department focused on taking the steps necessary for
forging permanent changes capable of significantly reduce unde- The majority of rank and file officers interviewed disagrees with
tected corruption and public-police confrontations. Without the this catalytic view of the Decree. Negative and inaccurate presen-
changes in the behavioral codes, mind set and informal norms for tations about the Decree by prior LAPD management fueled views
use of force that officers and other experts identified as the hidden that it was unfair collective punishment for the isolated crimes ofa
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38 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A ........~ • •

few former CRASH officers. And the predominant view of the City In sum, the fedeml court is critical to ensuring that the City and the
is that the Dectee is an expensive gauntlet of checklistcompliance, department do not again fail to reform LAPD. Compliance with
not a vehicle for transforming LAPD's culture to prevent scandal the Rampart CRASH Consent Decree is a process that is helping to
recurrence and advance department effectiveness. In the face of move department operations and thinking toward built-in, auto-
such views, it has taken creative and aggressive efforts by the matic accountability. And the parties should find ways to reduce
Consent Decree Bureau-strongly backed by the Chief of Police- the burdens of that process and to make the Decree more of an
to neutralize hostility and galvanize the deparnnent to achieve asset in moving the department toward the Chiefs vision as
Decree compliance. Ambiv"Jlence to,vJrd the Decree stymies its demonstmted in the Rampart transformation. Above all, however,
ability of turning into a force multiplier for improvements that is the overriding purpose of the decree, which, as Judge Feess has
LAP D's leaders are forging at the top of stated, is to install the actions needed to
the department and for changes in the foreclose LAPD-sparked crises that
The Monitor will tell you the Decree is not about
frustrating conditions that officers imperil the integrity of Los Angeles'
believe block them from doing their jobs checking hOlES and Iagree ~at it shouldn't he, But ~e criminal justice system:
on the ground floor of the department. reality is that with the boots on the ground, it is about
auditing and checking boxes. [T]his Decree is either There has been 40-plus years of
Officer complaints about the burdens of debate in this community about
going to help LAPD or IT's going to fail and here's why:
Decree compliance should not be how it is policed ... And time after
dismissed. 1lle Cityand department can If the Decree is continued without mod~ications ... time after time, those reports were
seek technology, reasonable modifica- people will give up. They'll say, 'we have extraordinary nodded to and nothing was ever
tions and other ways of reducing the administrative burdens, we have tried to comply, but done. 1llis consent decree is going
burdens of the current compliance to effect real reform and it's not
we're still failing:
regimen. And this Panel again urges the going to be extinguished until that
court, the Monitor and the department to LAPO lAn.... sWlm. '81 20"'11111 LAPO happens.';"
incorpomte achievement of the deeper
cultural changes urged in this report into Decree compliance.
Recommendations For Removing Internal
1lle I ndependent Monitor for the Consent Decree has consistently Barriers To Rampart Transformation
focused on increasing the department's accountability and public
trust." In its quarterly compliance reports, the Monitor has noted Recommendation III. 1.
significant improvement in a number of areas, including the selec- LAPD Leaders Need to Forge a Clear Consensus among Officers
tion criteria for gang units and improved supervisory training. to Permanttltly Transition to the High Rood Policing Sh~'Cosed
However, the Monitor has repeatedly expressed concern about the ill Rampart Division TUnJaroulld
department's intake and disposition of complaints, its inability to
implement the computerized officer tmcking system TEAMS II Department leaders must chart with rank and file leadership a tran-
and the slow pace of internal investigations of use of force incidents sition plan that officers can understand and accept. The department
and officer-involved shootings." will have to identify in detail the attributes, skills and elements of
Running Page #50

the policing and lC:ldership approach that achicved the Ihmpan • InerC:lSC protections for 01 G invcstigations;
lUrnaround and then teach it and change depanment oper"Jtions to
meet its standards. • AIIoC'Jte sufficient resources to the OIG to conduct expert
panern and practice investigations. cultural :Illdits, usc of force
New funding sources should continue to be pursued. 'rhe City and stings. discrimination stings. surprise SpOl audits and other
.. .
the department should de\'dop a budget for citywide public sllfety proactl\'e Inspections.
that reflects bener use of current resources and new sources of
funding. Recommendation 111.3.
LAPD Lmtlers Sltould Conlinl« 10 Use Discipline os 0 Tool for
The Chief of Police should continue to fast tmck promotions of hnplclnenting tlte Policing SltowcoHd by IAe Nt:rJtJ Rm"portllfodel
officers who ha\'e demonstrated the kind of thinking and action
showcased in the Rampart Division. LAPD leaders should continue to break down the dichotomous
discipline between brass and the rank and file, Insulation and
Recommendation 111.2. immunit)' from accountability and discipline based upon rank
Tlu Police Commission Sltould Signifit:0111I, Exptl1ld tire Indepmdena should no longer be tolerated. LAI)I) should continue de\'eloping
o"d Resollras oftlte I"spector Generol fair and consistent enforcement of force limitations. prohibitions
against lying and mher regulations that ha\'e received uneH:n
'111e Office of Inspector General needs more independence, focus enforcement in the past.
and expert staff to hold LAP D's self-investigation app::Jr"JIllS to the
highest perfomlance standards. As the only quasi-independent The department should impro\'c communiC'Jtion with rJnk and file
entit)' inside the department with the potential for full-time focus, officers regarding standard changes and disciplinc actions, LAPD
department fluency and expertise re(luired to hold LAPD to supen'isors should teach the lessons of high profile incidents,
rigorous and effective investigation and adjudicuion st:::lOd:lrds, this explain discipline decisions and policy chllnges, and forge
Panel concludes that the capacity of the OffICe of Inspector GenerJl consensus on what the new standards mean 10 officcr actions.
should be dmmatically increased to meet a bener defined portfolio
of responsibilities that helps ensure department accountability. Recommendation 111.4.
Ftdtrol Court Enforctmtlll of Iltt COllStll1 Durte Should Continut tltt
Spccifically, the Police Commission should take the following stcps: Currtnl Focus on Acltieving ;'Reol Reform" 10 Rtmuly lite Underlying
Causes of tlte CRASH Cns;s
• Limit the OIC's scope of work to critical areas;
The federal court is thc singular entitycapab1e of keeping the Cit)'
• Givc the Inspector General a fixed term of duty with rerno\".ll for
and the department focused on taking the steps necessary for
c~lUse;
forging permanent changes capable of signific~mtly reducing unde-
• Confer power on the Inspector General to offer confidenthllity tected corruption and public-police confront~ltions, As the federal
and limited immunit)' and procedures for criminal referral; court has recognized, the purpose of the feder.ll Consent Decree is
to achieve "real reform." This must include addressing LAPD
Running Page #51
40 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • ..... ~ • •

There has been 40illus years of behavioral codes, outlooks, recovery will be a complex document. It will require negotiated
incentives and informal changes in almost every LAPD system. Solutions should be cali-
debate in this community about how it
norms for use of force that brated to impact areas that will require examination, including:
is poliCt!d... TIme after time after time, officers and other experts mindset and outlook, LAPD informal culture; use offorce; training;
those reports were nodded to and identified as the hidden recru itment; supervision; discipline; patrol; specialized units; oper-
nothing was ever done. This consent drivers of the CRASH crisis ations; deployment; crime fighting strategies; performance evalua-
decree is going to effect real reform and other department prob- tions; retaliation and whistleblower protections; conflicts; racial
lems. tensions; immigrant community agendas; and telemetry for meas-
and it's not going to be extinguished uring desired outcomes in each area of LAPD's operation.
until that happens. The Court, Monitor and Con-
u.s listi:t.bllllliIlYA. FBs (1'Ilnllo.... sent Decree Bureau personnel SUPERVISION
LAPIJ C••lIlllllg.IIIjectIll."IIJAI... T..J. should review the Consent
"'n:l22. 2006)
Decree and enforcement Current problems with supervision are discussed above at length.
strategies to recommend ways In order to address these problems, the task force should:
of strengthening the Court's role in remedying the underlying
~ Identify the steps needed to establish the adv"Jnced supervision
cultural causes of the CRASH crisis and in aiding the department's
transition to the policing demonstrated by Rampart Division's new are discussed above demonstrated in Rampart Division and a
few other places as the department standard.
leadership.
~ Determine whether the specific supervision incidents discussed
Recommendation 111.5. in the report are isolated incidents or indicia of brewing corrup-
An Expedited Joint Action Taskforce Should Chart Actions Needed to tion.
Move LAPD to High Road Policing
~ Establish rules that all investigations of misconduct will include
An expert taskforce should quickly develop a blueprint and action a review of command failures.
agenda to achieve the Chiefs policing vision as showcased in the
~ Determine what impact, if any, the 3/12 and other flex schedules
recent Rampart Division transformation. The plan should be
have on supervision. If adverse impact exists, fix the systems so
jointly developed by department change agents, rank and file
that the flex schedules work to strengthen supervision, not
leaders, outside experts that know LAPD systems and members of
weaken it.
the Blue Ribbon Rampart Review Panel. The transition plan
should address the issues raised in this report, build on Chief ~ Prescribe actions needed to replace weak supervision with
Bratton's Plan of Action for The Los Angeles That Is and The Los effective supervision that rank and file officers respect,
Angeles That Could Be, and chart steps to achieve the tmnsition to including identifying what factors create weak supervision and
high road policing. the "dance of the lemons" practice of tmnsferring problem offi-
cers rather than retraining them and avoiding problems mther
The blueprint the task force charts to transition to the Chiefs than solving them.
vision of policing as demonstrated in the Rampart Division
Running Page #52

MIND SET AND CULTURE • Identify community actions, conditions and behaviors that
alienate officers and foster some officers' hostility toward high
The taskforce should identify and decode the cues, customs and crime communities. Develop strategies with other entities to
codes of behavior that aggravate public-police interactions in high change these dynamics.
crime ~lteas, keep the majority of officers from speaking up when • Identify officer conduct and attitudes that alienate the public
they should, prevent supervisors from reining in top guns who get and foster public-police hostility. Create programs to counter
out of control, and block effective checks against misconduct and these reactions.
abuse of force. The taskforce should at minimum:
• Explore establishing a panel of trusted community representa-
• Dissect conflicts between paramilitary policing and the strategic tives who can receive complaints from immigrants and others
collaboration model showcased in the Rampart Division who are too intimidated to interact with officers or other offi-
recovery. cials.
• Identify the most effective strategies for moving LAPD from a • Consult with immigmnt advocates to find more comprehensive
culture that emphasizes control and compliance to a culture that ways of identifying the public safety concerns and needs of
emphasizes effective collaboration and creative problem solving. immigrant communities-including vastly increased translation
• Reprogmm who is a hero. Identify ways of teaching lessons from capacity, sheltered interaction, cultuml translators and high
high profile incidents and mistakes. officer intercultural competence.

• Include strategies that seek rank and file ideas for reversing • Identify steps to provide officers with information abour the
longstanding problems described above. communities they serve and to facilitate relationships they need
to carry out strategic collaborations that help solve crime and
• Identify steps that remove pressures on officers to remain silent increase public trust.
and to elev"Jte loyalty to each other above IOyJlty to the
mission of the department or to standards in the Constitution. OFFICER ALIENATION

PUBLIC-POLICE ALIENATION In order to achieve department-wide buy-in for the reforms the
taskforce proposes, the task force should:
LAPD is not coming to grips with the magnitude of its trust deficit
in low-income, high crime, predominantly black neighborhoods • Identify and address the factors that will block officers from
and the different bu t eq ually strong barriers to prod uctive interac- accepting the movement from what they know to a new policing
tion with the police that immigrant and non-English speaking model.
communities face. The taskforce should, at minimum: • Identify crime fighting policies that a lien ate or frustrate officers.
• Determine why incidents that the minority public views as • Identify factors that lead to officer cynicism and corruption
excessive force often are seen by officers as good, aggressive (e.g., futile crime fighting stmtegies).
policing. Address how to bridge that gap.
Running Page #53
42 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • ..... ~ • •

INVESTIGATION QUALITY ~ Idenrify strategies for high crime divisions to reduce the dangers
posed ro officers and ro counter the alarming rise in sniper fire
on officers.
In order ro improve investigarion qualiry, rhe task force should:
~ Idenrify probable cause and use of force policies that officers
~ Idenrify everyrhing rhar adversely impacts high qualiry invesri-
ignore as too impractical or dangerous to obey. Find a process
garions-including policies, rraining practices, career parh prob-
that gets officers ro agree on lines that will be self-enforced,
lems, consent decree provisions, cases, CBA provisions, super-
consistent with the law and should not be crossed.
visor pracrices, lack of equipmenr, wirness reluctance, evidence
processing backlogs, etc. ~ Idenrify external drivers of excessive force-including the
cond itions in high crime divisions, lack of back up, fear of the
~ Idenrify everyrhing rhar blocks reducing rhe backlog of
communiry, officer attitudes about what they can get away with
unsolved murders includ ing all facrors rhat limit wirness cooper-
in high crime divisions and LAPD training that may contribute
arion and restimony.
to disproportionate paranoia and inappropriate force response.

USE OF FORCE ~ Identify internal factors that aggravate officers' paranoia and can
lead ro disproportionate force response.
The taskforce should go beyond tacrics and policy ro examine ~ Reconcile conflicting definitions of excessive force and abuse of
LAP D's use of force culrure and rhe facrors rhar drive officer deci-
force, identify the gray areas and clarify the bright lines that all
sions on appropriate levels of force. Several key interviewees noted
officers should agree not to transgress.
rhar deparrmenr rraining fosrers a paranoid, acrion-orienred
mindset that can distort threat assessments. Other experts point ~ Define abuse of force as corruption and rrain accordingly.
our rhar LAPD use of force culrure, as conrrasred wirh policy, does
~ Identify steps that help officers evaluate and meet threats with
nor equate excessive force with serious misconducr, or abuse of
force wirh corruprion. In add irion, rank and file officers complain appropriate levels of force including tools and techniques that
reduce the need for force and offer alternatives.
rhar use of force rraining does nor prepare rhem for real life rhreats
or create a policing contexr in which they feel safe enough to acr ~ Clarify what is misconduct and why. Idenrify the gap between
with grearer resrrainr. Use of force invesrigarions are incidenr formal definitions of misconduct and informal practices that
driven and focus on tacrics and policy compliance; they rarely delve acrually determine how officers view misconduct.
into why officers use force or rhe factors rhar drive rhar decision.
The raskforce should, at minimum: ~ Determine whether post-shooting support systems and policies
adequately help officers recover and whether culrural taboos
~ Derermine why wirhin rhe deparrment rhere is lack of reduce officer use of post-shooting support and recovery systems.
consensus on the extent to which excessive use of force is a
problem. Examine the gap between officer and public percep- ~ Idenrify steps needed for LAPD ro move from emphasizing rote
tions of this issue. learning of rules for using force to emphasizing the thinking and
judgmenr needed ro know when it's needed and, if possible,
~ Define officer understanding of what constitutes excessive force. how to avoid using it at all.
Running Page #54

TRAINING • Cre3te tr3ining 3nd educ3tion3l progr3ms th3t instill skills 3nd
confidence that obviate the perceived need to fabricate probable
LAPD wlining reform currently focuses on best pr3ctices, inter3c- cause, create misleading reports and give false testimony.
tive te3ching of wctics 3nd swte of the 3rt equipment bur not on
codifying the policing pioneered 3t R3mp3rt Division 3nd in other • Develop training protocols that teach management how to
innovative collaborative policing pilots. In addition, LAPD officers communic3te productively with officers 3nd the community
with expertise in tr3ining testified tlwt stress simubtions in LAPD after high profile incidents or discipline decisions so that officers
training do not prepare officers for the stress they will face in the learn the right lessons and tensions with the community are
street. The wskforce should 3dd to ongoing twining reforms the reduced. Instruct on the "why" in 3ddition to the "wlwt."
following items:
• Develop 3 curriculum to study LAPD's P3St high profile incidents
• Identify the le3dership skills, mind set 3nd other 3ttributes of the 3nd sC3nd3ls 3nd te3ch the issues 3nd lessons 3ttached to e3ch.
policing showcased by the team that transformed Rampart Balance post-eritical incident review training with problem
Division. Identify where current twining would h3ve to ch3nge solving, leg3l remedies 3nd community knowledge 3S well 3S
to reflect this model 3nd the curriculum needed to 3lign tr3ining tactics.
with these practices.
• Develop 3 pbn to rewrite the LAPD m3mml so th3t it m3kes
• Cre3te le3dership 3nd supervision tr3ining for first line supervi- sense to the average officer.
sors and sergeants. The curriculum must go beyond checking
the box compli3nce. RECRUITMENT

• Develop apprenticeship and mentorship programs that develop


The raskforce should examine whether LAPD looks for Police
le3dership 3nd determine suit3bility for supervisory positions. AC3demy c3ndid3tes with the judgment, independent thinking,
• Identify policies, customs or other b3rriers th3t hinder moving to high emotion3l intelligence ("EQ") 3nd problem solving 3bilities
the policing showc3sed in the R3mp3rt Division recovery. showcased in the Rampart turnaround. The taskforce also should
3ddress 3ny g3pS between the policing vision 3nd recruit selection
• Identify steps needed to end the view of tr3ining 3S 3 punish- criteria used by the Personnel Department.
ment and begin the view of training as an investment. Put an
end to the sC3rlet letter "1''' of tr3ining. DISCIPLINE

• Allot training allocations beyond required POST minimum levels


to reflect the priorities of 3c3demic strength, leg3l knowledge, Since the sC3nd31, discipline systems h3ve undergone signific3nt
rules of evidence, collaboration, community demographic knowl- streamlining and quality improvement. However, many officers
edge and problem solving. Teach the skills of critical thinking and still complain 3bout unf3ir punishment for honest mist3kes where
m3n3ging in the m3nner showcased in the R3mp3rt recovery. training would have been more appropriate. In other words, LAPD
supervisors still too often f3il to distinguish between mist3kes 3nd
• Identify tr3ining str3tegies th3t counter the bel13viors tlwt malfeasance. In order to build on these improvements, the task-
ptoduce losses in crimin3l C3ses, cre3te civilli3bility 3nd result in force should at a minimum:
the corrosion of public trust.
Running Page #55
44 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • ..... ~ • •

~ Identify the curriculum that teaches the investment supervision ~ Develop promotion criteria that expressly incorporate the char-
showcased in the Rampart mrnaround. acteflstlcs of policing demonstrated in the new Rampart
Division.
~ Identify steps to get officers to engage and learn the lessons of
discipline decisions.
OPERATIONS AND STRUCTURE
~ Identify where LAPD discipline conflicts with the Chief's vision
as expressed when he told officers: "The era of playing 'gotcha' The Rampart Division success is due in part to success in minimizing
is over. If you make a mistake, we'll retrain you. If you commit the dmg of bureaucracy. LAPD has had many plans over the years
misconduct, we'll punish you fairly. If you are bnnal orCOITupt, that propose streamlining, flattening and other methods of cutting red
we will jail you." tape and configuring the department to enhance effectiveness. The
task force should examine these and other strategies for reducing
~ Identify the factors that contribute to officer distrust of and bureaucracy. The task force should also address the problem that
disdain for discipline and counter them. seveml senior officers noted: LAPD is strucmred upside down. TIle
deparnnent assigns the least experienced, least paid and least appre-
~ Review recent changes in discipline to determine whether addi-
ciated officers to the most dangerous jobs requiring maximum skills.
tional steps are needed to increase consistency, fairness and
alignment with new policing vision.
TECHNOLOGY
~ Examine how to replace the existing Boards of Rights system
with another more effective and fairer discipline system. The taskforce should consider ways to leverage technology to
compensate for low numbers of officers and resources, and to
PATROL/INCENTIVES improve ctime fighting strategies, as was done in the 10% strategy
and Compstatand the Rampart turnaround. Technology should also
Everybody interviewed agreed that patrol remains the most critical be used to increase collaboration and interaction with the commu-
function in the department. However, years of LAPD and blue nity and help the community back officers.
ribbon admonitions that it is critical for LAPD to elevate and invest
in LAPD patrol have gone unheeded. The taskforce should, at CRIME FIGHTING STRATEGIES
minimum:
The task force should map the factors that frustrate officers daily,
~ Reconfigure current career paths, coveted positions, paygrade including lack of local booking systems, limited jail capacity and
adv"Jncements and other perks to attract and keep a high level of friction with prosecutors who decline to file cases.
performance at patrol.

~ Rewire career paths to require multiple tours of duty in patrol Officers complained that LAPD does not eV"Jluate the effective-
before promotion. ness or impact of longstanding approaches to crime that do not
seem to reduce the problems. The Taskforce should examine
~ Use reality-based assessments to ensure that excellent officers policing strategies for crime reduction and long-tenn effectiveness
who may not test well on oral or written exams are recognized and consider innovative approaches that reduce incarceration and
and promoted appropriately. generate community cnme suppressIon responses.
Running 45
Page #56
.......,." .._ _ n....... _ .....

PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS RACIAL TENSION

Prior reports nored serious defICiencies in LAPD performance eval· The taskforce should examine internal racial rifts and find ways (0
uations. Interviewees for this report repeated thc samc obsen-J' decode and defuse them with cr<7Jti\"c approaches thal close rJther
tions that useful evaluation is rare (0 non-existent. Thc task force than widen the gaps or aggravate the tensions. Str.ltegies (0 defuse
should untangle the structural and cultul""JllYJITiers to solving this perceptions and realities of public-police f""Jcial friction also should
longstanding critical path problem or find anothcr systcm for be explored. LAPD needs new tools. likc thc Implicit Association
dcfining success and evaluating performmce. Test, that can help the department productively rcframe and
reduce racial and orher cultural conflicts.
RETALIATION AND WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION
TELEMETRY
In !:ate 2005, LArD drafted and issued the departmcnt's first anti·
retaliation policy with whistleblo\l"er protection systems. The taskforce should consult with internal and external experts in
Implementation of the policy should resoh'e conflicting \iews of e\'ery policing specialty and area of LAPD operations (0 de\'e1op
the existence. definition and scope of retaliation. The policy the right measures of outcomes :lnd early warning criteria for each
should be vetted by outside experts who ha\'c studicd this specialty and critical function in LAPD. and the questions that
problem. and it should be c10sdy monitored for effectiveness and should be asked for each by officers. the IG and the Police
for abuse by officers seeking (0 use the policy as a shield a~inst Commission. Currently, thc most useful measures of success and
deserved discipline and for adequacy of enforcement staff indicators of problems are nOl used in all cases.
(currently only two sergeants have this dUlY). I\t thc samc time,
LAPD needs to examine how its systems for job hiring, discipline
and promotion get hijacked (0 support retaliation against officers
viewed as disloyal or orherwise labeled as rejects. 'laskforce
members should ex.:tlnine the capacity, skills and ph.ccmcnt of staff
assigned to CJrry oU[ [he new retaliation policy.

CONFLICTS

The problems with conflicts within LArD arc discussed in detail


The Road Behind section of this report. The task force should
examine current conflicts policies and dcvelop a conflicts policy
lhat ends the kind of alarming conflicrs documented in lhis report.
Running Page #57
46 __ p.n_~cIo_""~••••• ~"".

LAPD and [he other criminal justice institutions [h,l[ failed 10


The Road Behind protect [he integrity of the Los Angeles criminal justice system
against CRASH crimes also failed to ade(luatcly investigate the
scandal and its causes.
"ll1is section of the repon scans immediate responses to the
CRASH crisis by major non-LAPD inshtlllions. II is oosed on an Major Institutions Caught in CRASH Crossfire
explorJtion ofinstitlllional actions with the individuals who rc-Jctc:d
to the crisis on behalf of their agencics. This is not a detailed In 1999, the Rampan CRASH corruption crisis compelled imme-
assessment of each institution's rcsponse. It is a n o\'er"iew of major diate rcsponses from several inSlillUions beyond the Los Angelcs
mistakes to a"oid in the next Los Angelcs criminal justice scandal. Police Department. :\Iultiple city entities. including the City
Council's Public Safcf)' Commiucc. Cif)' Administr"Jtive Office,
"111e criticism in this section docs not negate in any way the extrJor- Personnel Department. the City Attorney's OffICe and the Mayor's
dinary efforts by scores of dedicatc:d LAPD invcstigators. DistrM;:t Office, scrambled for answers to the latest police scandal.
Attorneys and others. In the wake of a crisis of unprecedented ncoordinated city invcstigations. rival reports. turf wars and
magnitude and o\'erwhelming scale. they did their utmost to carry dueling press conferences did little [0 dispel the City's reputation
out difficult dutics. Xlany LAPDofflCers who were dT'Jftcd to in\1:S- for inept o\'ersight of law enfon:ement.
tigate allegations of corruption against fellow officers and to help
free the wrongly com'icted did so diligently dcspite duress. At the County of Los Angeles. the Office of the District Anorney
In\'estig:uors reported recei\ing harassing phone calls and one struggled \\ith the fallout from the Perez revelations. Prosecutors
invcstigator reportedly received threats so serious Ihat he was had no prior experience widl a crisis Ihal ducatened the integrity of
assigned SWAT offICers 10 guard his home. Disrrict Attorneys who hundrc:ds. possibly thollsands of cases. District Anorneys sorted
prosecuted officers also confronted obstacles thai rarely occur in through an unprecedented number of wronbrful conviction petitions
routine prosecutions of non-offieer defendants. The people who by criminal defendants also claiming 10 be victims of CRASH
were nonnally prosecution witnesses (officers) h:ld become the excesses. And in a laudable effon to release the wrongfully
defendmts; the people normally prosecuted (gang members and convicted, the DA's Office filed dm·..cns of "P(:ople's writs." At the
criminals) had become the witnesses; and none of the usual same time, the District Anorney charged a le:uTI of prosecutors with
presumptions applied. One prosecutor described this upside down the job of prosecuting the police officers they norm:llly worked with.
and surreal ordeal as an Alice '"'through the lookinggbss" experience In their efforts to transform mountains of im'esligation material into
that c:lLlscd her to question her own sanity. And another described prosecutions, these DAs confronted the conflicts that come with
the suspicion and solitariness that come with prosecuting cops. llsing LAPD investigators in cases against their fellow officers. ivlost
LAPD investigators worked like Trojans to support the prosecu-
The Panel documented many such instances of individual dedica- tions, but a few apparently withheld investigation findings and, in at
tion an d e\'en heroism. Notwithstand in g the \'.lli:1 nt efforts of these least one instance, gave infoml:ltion to the defense. And once
llnd mllny other individuals, the systemic picture leads to one over- LAP D's top leaders decided to wrest control of the in\'estig'J.tions
arch ing ad monition for the next Los Angc Ics cri mina I j list icc crisis: from the District Attorney, even dedic:lted investigators found
repe,lt \'ery little done in response to thc Ramp:lrt CRASH crisis. themsekes torn between conflicting m:lOd,ltes from the two offices.
Running Page #58

llwt conflict erupted politically at the executive level when the Los Angeles Institutions Failed to Respond
Chief of Police dismissed District Attorney efforts and declared his Adequately to the CRASH Crisis
preference for working with the United Srates Attorney's Office.
The facts that best support this conclusion arc that a federal court
The California Attorney General intervened in the dysfunctional had to take over Los Angeles police reform and that no public
feud between LA PO command and the District Attorney's Office, entity conducted an independent investigation with the capacity,
issuing a statement calling the LAPD's refusal to cooperate with authority and resources to properly investigate the extent of the
the DA's Office "unfortunate, counter-productive and without legal alleged corruption or its causes. In add ition, after numerous scandal
authority." The California legislature subsequently enacted a law related criminal trials and pleas, multiple LAPD investigations and
authorizing the California Attorney General to bring civil actions over 80 internal Boards of Rights, four major reports and a failed
against police departments to eliminate pattern and practice civil civil grand jury inquiry, the following basic facts about the Rampart
rights violations. CRASH corruption remain unknown or disputed:

• Whether the scandal was about two officers guilty of isolated crim-
Dealing with scores of writs, the Los Angeles Superior Court had to
inal misconduct or about policing systems that tolemted routine
examine its role in accepting pleas ftom innocent defendants and
abuse and criminality by a significant subcult in its mnks.
failing to detect police perjury or the conviction of the innocent.
Public Defenders saw their long ignored complaints about incompe- • I-low many officers committed crimes or serious misconduct.
tent investigations, routinely fabricated probable cause, frequent
police perjury and excessive force briefly acknowledged, but had to • The scope of misconduct at issue (ranging from unjustified
confront their inability to effectively check the abuses they observed. shootings, fmmings and beatings to falsifying arrest reports and
fabricating probable cause).
And at the federal level, Raf.lel Perez had implicated the federal
• llle extent of Rampart CRASH-like misconduct in the CRASH
Immigration and Naulmlization Service ("INS") in CRASI-I schemes
units of other divisions, other specialized units and LAPD
to preemptively deport wirnesses to silence their testimony about
policing generally.
CRASH misconduct. Although the former INS" declined to make
its response to these charges publ ic, other federal agencies' responses • The extent of corrupt acts, if any, by Rampart CRASH alumni
to the crisis were highly public. After concluding that the scandal who graduated into Metro, Internal Affairs and other coveted
confirnled the City's inability to provide constitutional policing, DO] and specialized units.
Washington, the United States Attorney's Office in the Central
District of California and the Fedeml Bureau of Investigation inter- • Why CRASH supervisors and others in LAPD silenced whistle-
vened. In 2000, DO] Washington threatened a lawsuit charging the blowers who tried to warn about CRASH insubordination and
City and LAPD with pattern and practice civil rights violations stem- misconduct.
ming from the CRASH corruption and other LAPD failures. The • I-low many of Perez' specific alleg'.Itions were fully investig'.Ited
City avoided litig'.Ition by settling the case later that year, and in and verified.
2001, the United States District Court for the Centml District of
California assumed jurisdiction over LAPD reform through the • Why the DA's declination memos explaining the reasons for not
ensuing Consent Decree. charging Rampart related cases submitted by LAPD did not
Running Page #59

address a number of cases of alleged misconduct, including gation sessions, when he began to discuss his :I\\'areness of corrup-
se"erJl allegedly unjustified shootings. tion by CRASH units in other divisions, imerrogators failed to
follow up with additional <Iuestions. The <Iuc.stioners mo'·ed onto
• How many officers were administf";)ti\"e1y in\"estigated or sent to
another topic and nowhere else in Ihe volumes of tf";)nscripts did
Iloa rds of Rights as a result of Perez' allegations.
they fully pursue the opening Perc-,/; had made 10 explore the most
Why an afler-action report on LAPD's response 10 Ihe CRASH important question at hand. 10 do so would nOI JUSt complicate an
crisis could not get wrinen. already ovenvhelming crisis: il could precipilale eatasnophe. If
Perez' contentions were true that CRASH-like corruption" was not
• Why Ihe Boards of Rights were allowed lofail on such a large se-.Ile, limiled to Rampart CRASH bUI endemic 10 olher CRASH units
and common in brooder swaths of LAPD policing, then thousands
Whether the USCIS (formerly known as Ihe INS) in\'estigaled
of cases could fail.
Perez' allegations that its agents helped deport gang members or
others who filed complaints against LAPD offlCers.lIt
White the criminal justice system could sus~in o\·erturning scores
of criminal prosecutions tainted by Rampart CRASH corruption,
Why the Investigations Failed thousands could ha\"e meant the collapse of the entire LA County
criminal justice appaf";)tus. As one former fedc ....JI prosecutor who
Sc'·en years after the scandal erupted, ddiniti\'e answers to these assessed the magnitude of such a thrcat put it, ~Rampart was
<Iucstions arc unlikely to be established. Some of the rC'.Isons for 'Chinato\\n'---potemially too big for the truth" (referring to the
the failures-like the fact that LAPD botched the Perez polygrJph scandals of the Los Angeles \I':lIer \I~Jrs), Similar evidence of
exam-are simple to discern. Other rcasons--like those that stem containment also emerged during inter\"icwsexploring thc Boord of
from the overwhelming dynamics of a large scandal-'Jre complex, Inquiry investig:ttions. l'ilembcrs of the Iloard of Inquiry's work
Concepts like these sound like excuses for incompetent in\"cstiga- product working group reported that when thcy pursued the
tion or, worse, cover-ups. BUI the Panel found Ihem useful in records of Rampart CRASH alumni who h:ld grndu:lled inlO l\leno,
examining how crisis distorts the decisions of people who feci they they found sergeants' logs missing. When Ihey asked 10 launch a
did their bcst to suni,"e chaos: broader inquiry into i'..Ieuo, they were told il would not happen
because J\letro was untouchable.
He "Even/ Horizon" Eff«/: Crises that imperil not just indi\'iduals
but entire systems can trigger an autonomic shutdown response, Facing a choice between containment or C~lt~lstrophic failure, the
Onc criminal justice expert termed it the "event horizon cffect"- operators of any system-bw enforcement. prosecutors and
the result of looking over the brink of an abyss (or the edge of a judges-inexorably choose containment. It is not that individuals
black hole known as the event horizon) and realizing "you JUSt can't or entities conspired 10 cover up corruption; it is that when a
go there," window on its true extent opened, they simply closed it.

When events threaten the viability of an entire system, the tropism bur/in of Self Preservn/io1/: A related dyn~lmic is wlwt one expert
of containment kicks in. The Panel found sc\'cral specific events called the "inertia of self preservation." Witnesses confirmed the
that may be examples of this effect. During Rafael Perez' interro- view that they had to protect themselves from panicked responses
Running Page #60

that were sweeping innocent people into the scandal's vortex. As elections, or the impact of having disproportionate numbers of
one civilian employee of LAPD summed it up, "Why should a former prosecutors on the bench. The passive culture of politicians
criminal like Rafael Perez be allowed to damage my career when I toward checking police misconduct has been documented for
didn't do anything wrong?" decades; while they are quick to decry scandals, the actions needed
to produce different behavior from the community and the police
The Impact of Media Saturoti01J: Saturation coverage of a metasta- somehow never pass. And finally, LAPD's norms, such as its codes
sizing scandal crea tes political dyna mics that affect decision makers of silence, loyalty, control, retaliation, accommodation of excessive
and what they do. Indeed, prior to the scandal, headlines about force and weak investigations, and glorifying "hard chargers,"
spiraling gang crime prompted the politicians and LAPD to shielded CRASH misconduct and blinded investigators to the full
respond with the "no holds barred" policing that provided cover for scope of the crisis and the underlying drivers of the problems.
CRASH antics. And after the scandal efilpted, headline pressure
affected leaders' responses and foreclosed some options. For Assembly Lillelustice: Problems in the Los Angeles County criminal
example, to stem mounting damage from daily headlines, LAPD justice system also fueled the scandal. TIle assembly-line nature of
leaders diverted the focus of LAPD criminal investigations to begin the Los Angeles criminal justice system is one of those dynamics
projects like the Board of Inquiry designed in parr to reg-din depart- that warrants further examination. Under the current system,
ment control, staunch the mounting negative press covemge and defendants faced with tough sentences if they go to trial feel forced
stave off intervention by outside agencies or federal authorities. to plead guilty even if they are innocent. Their overworked public
And, while it does not explain the fdilure to do so before the media defenders may even counsel taking a plea-knowing they would
frenzy, any possibility of mounting an effective systemic corruption be punished with a draconian sentence if they drained judicial
probe, like that conducted for the Mollen Commission," drowned resources by demanding a trial. Prosecutors pressure defendants to
in the deluge of sensational headlines. accept plea deals in extremely short time fmmes before their
lawyers can get facts needed to assess the risks of trial or even their
Big Cultuml Blillders: The cultures of several institutions stymied client's guilt or innocence. And even after the Rampart CRASH
effective responses to the CRASH crisis. A few examples: most record of rou tine lying and fdbrication by some officers, prosecutors
federal and smte prosecutors interviewed stated that police must assert that officers rarely commit serious misconduct to obtain
police themselves and rejected a more active role for their agencies convictions. 1< Officers testified to the Panel that while LAPD
in preventing police misconduct. A few even acknowledged the investigation training is improving, there is a long way to go until
passive posture their prosecutorial offices adopt to\\~drd checking confidence in investigations across the board will be justified. And
police misconduct.1' Because police are usually part of their prose- judges, burdened with overwhelming caseloads, are unwilling or
cution teams, prosecutors often do not bring a skeptic's eye to unable to pursue their own suspicions of police perjury or miscon-
police conduct. County criminal court judges remain ambivalent duct. 15 This is not a system with sufficient integrity to ensure that
about the risks of overtly reporting officers they suspect-but have the innocent are not convicted.
no proof-have lied on the stand; many do not believe it is feasible
or appropriate to report such officer witnesses. And neither elected Cumulative Mistakes: As discussed in more derail below, some of
judges nor prosecutors interviewed had considered the possibility LAPD's key decisions hindered competent and comprehensive
of the latent fear of losing law enforcement endorsements to win investigations designed to esmblish the full extent of corruption.
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For example, decisions to divert scarce resources from criminal management standpoint. Several officers stated that Rampart
investigations to the Board of Inquiry and administrative inquiries Division was renown for its "cowboy" sryle of policing. Indeed,
hindered criminal investig'.Itions to the point where allegedly officers nicknamed Rampart Area "'Ram page' Division."
unlawful shootings languished without investigators while a team
pursued alleg'.Itions of an on-duty beer parry at the Police Academy. Years before the CRASH crisis exploded, one officer recalled that a
TIle failure to properly contemplate the potential scope of the command officer in the Central Bureau, which oversaw Rampart
alleged corruption precluded investigation designs capable of Division, forbade one of his proteges from working there because
determining whether multi-defendant, systemic corruption was at it was "out of control." A fonner
issue, or whether it was the crimes of just two officers. And the staff commander recalled that other It was acceptable from top to
refusal to grant officer witnesses administrative ImmunIty command sraff described the
suppressed officer coopemtion in investigations. Rampart Division as "a mess."
bottom-Rampart CRASH can do
whatever they want to do.
TIle failures noted above prevented the Los Angeles criminal Conclusion 1.2. LAPD SI'8rtilll. 2D 1'881111 'iii 1..:8
justice system from sufficiently determining the extent of the Other CRASH Units Hod (d.crili" thlllltitudl llIwanllllmlllrt
CRASH hhl8tl81mjlllllbj
CRASH corruption, undersranding its causes or documenting Similar Renfgade Subctllts
lessons learned. The successes---dedicated investigators and pros-
ecutors, the aggressive pursuit of writs of habeas corpus and The record establishes voluminous complaints from suspects and
completed prosecutions to name a few---deserve full credit and gang members about excessive force abuses (but not drug crimes)
should not be overlooked. But the state of the post-scandal from subcuhs within several CRASH units, including 77th,
record-in particular, the basic questions about the scandal that Southeast and Wilshire Divisions. While such witnesses are prob-
remain unanswered-speaks for itself. lematic, the volume and pattern of their com pI aims should not have
been routinely ignored by LAPD. Credible officer witnesses who
observed or were members of these other CRASH units in action
I. LllPD during the early to mid-199Os also corroborate these gang member
reports of routine abuse. Being "in the loop" may have been a sub-
Conclusions Regarding LAPD'S Handling culture norm for CRASH.
Of The Rampart Crash Crisis
Conclusion 1.3.
LAPD Leaders Did Not Adequately Address Specific Wamings
of Illegal PoliciNg Tactics by Rampart CRASH Officers before the
Conclusion 1.1. Scandal Erupted Publicly
LAPD Leaders K1U:W of ReNegade PoliciNg, Exclusive of DTlIg Crimes,
in Rampart Division and its CRASH Gong Unit Years Before the More than a year before Perez made his allegations, LAPD leaders
CRASH Crisis Erupted had specific knowledge of Rampart CRASH misconduct. A vetemn
supervisor in Central Bureau recalled complaining to Rampart
Current and former LAPD command sraff acknowledged that by CRASH supervisors and other LAPD command sraff about
the early 199Os, the Rampart Division was "active" from a risk Rampart CRASH's failure to respond to calls for assismnce from
Running Page #62

officers in other divisions. Other supervisors had reported concerns quendy worked as the Rampart Area complaint sergeant. Perez and
to Rampart and Central Bureau command staff regarding Rampart many other officers who had been supervised by the sergeant in
CRASH's "trophy wall," which included gang paraphernalia ille- Rampart CRASH remained in the division.
gally confiscated ftom gang members by Rampart CRASH officers.
Conclusion 1.5.
In addition, gang members in Rampart Area had been complaining WhistlebloID'ers Who ItJtercepted aNd Challenged Rampart
vocifetously about mistreatment and abuse by Rampart CRASH CRASH Officers Were Punished or Ignored
officers. In the mid-1990s, the chair of this Panel attended a
community meeting convened by California Senator Tom Hayden The Panel learned of seveml instances of retaliation against or
to discuss the Rampart community's concerns with LAPD mistreat- reversal of supervisors who tried to intervene or blow the whistle on
ment. Rampart CRASI-I officers lined the \\~Jlls of the meeting and Rampart CRASH misconduct. For example, one CRASH sergeant
tried to take down the names of everyone in attendance. The who tried to move Perez out of CRASH for insubordination was
department took no action in response to the hearing. overruled; Perez remained in CRASH and the sergeant was trans-
ferred out. Another sergeant who tried to impose discipline on
The department's Internal Affairs Division had received and inves- CRASH officers and force them
tigated seveml specific complaints of officer misconduct in Rampart to obey regulations was passed
Division. For example, one police officer whom Perez subseq uently over as the officer in charge of ~le said Iwas fired from ~e
identified as a participant in illegal activity had been administm- Rampart CRASH and left the unit. And Itold him. no... The next
tively punished for two separate incidents in February 1999. In one division soon thereafter. day... hefore I came to work. I got
incident, this officer was found guilty of dissuading a gang member
a call from [another sergeant]...
from making a complaint against the officers who beat him. The A lieutenant who wanted CRASH
officer was only suspended for ten days for this misconduct. excesses investigated recalled He told me. 'You report to roll call
that other supervisors complained as scheduled, per me. I'm coming
Conclusion 1.4. to the Rampart caprain when he to that unit. He's out. Don't worry
FrotenJization O1Jd Conflicts of Interest Undermilud Effective took the complaint of a gang about it He's out of there:
Superoision and Accountability in Rampart Division mem ber who claimed CRASH
blxnpllfNO'I..... 22. 1!BI inl8rlillw wi..
officers had beaten him. When IIafaII PlfIl (dirscrilillJ hiJw I,,-MIIi woo billl 1lI
A number of persons interviewed by the Panel described how fmt- the lieutenant later spoke out at ~lIIf. lilln! sf (]lASH WIll 111111&'l1li110

ernization and conflicts undermined supervision at Rampart a supervisors' meeting and urged
Division. One of the Rampart Division officers convicted of miscon- completion of the gang member's
duct told the Panel that his supervisor could exert no control over complaint investigation, the captain said nothing to defend the
him because he knew that the supervisor was having an extramarital lieutenant and left him to face the stony silence of the other
affair with another officer. Rampart supervisors present. A patrol gang sergeant who operated
in Rampart Division tried to convene a meeting with Rampart
In one example of the conflicts undermining accountability, a CRASH to complain about their arrogant attitude and their failure
CRASH sergeant who Perez identified as "in the loop" subse- to assist other LAPD officers in the field. Most of the CRASH
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Running Page #63

officers did not even attend the meeting and the patrol sergeant's checked out of ECU or Property Division has greatly decreased.
complaints were ignored. The department has added some safeguards against theft. Now, an
officer checking out narcotics from Property Division must provide
Conclusion 1.6. a fingerprint. An officer can no longer order a package of narcotics
Evidence Controls Lacked Adequate Sajrguards to Prevent Theft for delivery from ECU. Moreover, an officer could no longer check
out narcotics that have been slated for desrruction.
Perez' theft of cocaine revealed significant weaknesses in LAPD's
evidence controls. In 1998, when Perez stole narcotics from LAPD However, the Property Division and ECU still lack significant safe-
storage facilities, it was common practice for LAPD officers to guards. For example, neither the Central Property Division nor the
check drugs out to bring to court. LAPD policy required that an ECU is equipped with cameras. The Property Division does not
officer checking out narcotics provide proof of identity and sign out have any staff to conduct regular audits or inventories of its
the drugs. However, no one crosschecked the signature sheet and narcotics. While the department conducts pre-destruction audits,
identification. Moreover, an officer did not have to demonstrate examining packages of narcotics before disposal to make sure that
that he had authority to check out the narcotics. Perez checked out the package is what it purports to be, these audits do not include
three kilograms of cocaine from the Property Division by signing any testing of the subsrance.
the name of another officer. 76
LAPD'S INITIAL INVESTIGATIONS INTO ALLEGED
TIle Evidence Control Unit ("ECU") had even fewer safeguards. In DRUG THEFT BY RAFAEL PEREZ
1998, an officer could call the ECU and have narcotics from a partic-
ular case sent by courier to his or her station. TIle officer did not have In March 1998, LAPD launched an internal investigation into the
to demonstrate that he had authority to check out the narcotics. theft of three kilograms of cocaine from LAP D's Property Division.
Indeed, the ECU did not check whether the narcotics were from a Their investig'.Ition quickly identified Rafael Perez, an officer in
closed or open case or whether the drugs were slated for destmction. the Rampart Division's CRASH unit, as the prime suspect.
Investig'.Itors subsequently discovered that several packages of Investig'.Itors subsequently learned of Perez' relationship with
cocaine from closed cases had been ordered by a Rampart Division former LA PO officer David Mack, who had been arrested in
officer. When they sampled the contents of these packages, they November 1997 for robbing a bank.
found that almost all of them no longer con mined cocaine and had
been replaced by some other white powdery "bunk" material. In May 1998, the department established the "RHO Task Force."
Before a more extensive sampling could be conducted, the depart- The RHO Task Force's initial assignment is open to some debate.
ment ordered much of the ECU inventory destroyed. The LAPD's Boardojl1/quiry illto the Rampart Afl'a COfT1lptio1/ l1Jcidmt
states that LAPD created the RHO Task Force to investigate the
Although evidence safeguards have increased, the Property Division cocaine thefr, the bank robbery, and the beating and false imprison-
and ECU remain vulnerable. The most significant factor reducing ment of a gang member by LAPD officers assigned to the Rampart
the risk of officers illeg'.Illy checking out narcotics resulted from the Division. Other persons who worked on or with the Task Force
courts' decision to cease bringing narcotics into courtrooms as maintain that it \\~.Is initially assigned to investigate the cocaine theft,
evidence. As a result of this development, the volume of narcotics the bank robbery and the March 1997 killing of hip-hop smr Biggie
Running Page #64

Smalls, but not the beating and LAPD'S INITIAL INVESTIGATION AFTER RAFAEL
Ihad no reason to think LAPD
false imprisonment of a gang PEREZ BEGINS TO DISCLOSE MISCONDUCT
was acting with anything but the member by Rampart officers.
best motives. All members of the Under either scemlrio, every-one In September 1999, Rafael Perez pleaded guilty to narcotics
group were dedicated. interviewed agreed that the inves- charges. At that time, Perez received criminal immunity for
tigation into Rafael Perez and the disclosing that he and his then panner, Nino Durden, had shot an
cocaine theft quickly became the unarmed man named Javiar Ovando then planted a gun on him to
RHO Task Force's primary focus. cover up the shooting. As a result of the shooting, OV".Indo was para-
lyzed from the "".list down. Moreover, as RHO Task Force investi-
Conclusion I. 7. gators soon learned, Perez and Durden's perjured testimony about
LAPD Foiled 10 Approach the ImJeSligoliolJ of Drug Theft the shooting had bnded Ovando in prison for twenty-three years
{IS (J Police Corruption Gase ~)ifh Systemic Implications for assaulting a police officer and brandishing a weapon. I-lis
sentence reflected his refusal to express remorse for a crime he had
In staffing the RHO Task Force, the Department primarily not committed.
assigned detectives with narcotics experience. By all accounts, the
RHO Task Force did excellent investigative work in investigating Following Perez' plea, which included a state grant of immunity for
Rafael Perez and his involvement in stealing drugs. However, the additional misconduct disclosed,n a Deputy District Attorney and
Task Force approached Rafael Perez and the cocaine theft as a members of the RHO Task Force began to interrogate Perez. In
discrete incident of criminal activity, and did not examine the the first of many interrog'.Ition sessions, Perez beg'.In to describe
supervision failures and cultural systems that shielded and possibly widespread misconduct in Rampart CRASH and other CRASH
gave rise to the corruption. units. As he put it, "I would say that ninety percent of the officers
that work CRASH, and not
Conclusion 1.8. just Rampart CRASH, falsify
Intert/a/ Leaks Jeopardized tlu Investigation of Rafael Perez a lot of information. They The day after Wer" disclosed I
put cases on people.""" Ovando. Isaid to Perez. 'Is there anyone
Rafael Perez stated that he received warnings from at least two else wrongly in custody?' Perez said,
CRASH sergeants that he was being investigated and that his logs Over the next year, Perez sat
had been requested. While a subsequent Board of Rights refutes for thirty-two interrogation
'I'd have to see ilie logs: And Isaid.
this allegation, the undisputed f.lct that several officers close to sessions---the transcripts of 'There were so many people framed
Perez who should not have known about the investigations also which make up more than you don't know?!'
knew about them makes Perez' awareness highly probable. The 4,000 pages. As alleg'.Itions 1IB1lfIY DA whD Y1UrblI .. P.II CIII
fact that people close to Perez knew about the investigation illus- of misconduct grew, the
trates the lack of any meaningful understanding of conflicts of members of the RHO Task
mterest. Additional problems with conflicts of interest are Force grew in number and eventually became the "Rampart Task
discussed below. Force." The RampanTask Force had responsibility for investigating
Perez' alleg'.Itions of corruption. They worked on both administra-
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Running Page #65

tive and criminal investigations. As detailed below, the depart- tives recalled that captains seemed to choose Rampart Task Force
ment's work on both the administrative and criminal investigations mem bers "arbitrarily," without consulting detective supervisors as
resulted in significant problems that undermined subsequent pros- to who had the best skill sets for the job. Some command staff
ecutions, Boards of Rights and the ability to discern the extent of recalled that some supervisors seemed to volunteer officers they
corruptIOn. wanted to get rid of for
Rampart Task Force duty.
Conclusion 1.9. [l]hey assigned an officer from
LAPD's Rampart Task Force Foiled to DesiglJ alJ 11/'l;estigati01J TIle problem of inadequate Metro Division as alead investigator.
Appropriate for a Complex, Multi-DejmdalJt Police CorruptiOIJ Case investigative skills multiplied
He had never done an investigation
as the size of the Task Force
The Panel spoke to many investigators from LAPD and other grew. Almost all of the Task in his life... He was agood man. but
agencies, as well as current and fonner federal and state prosecu- Force members interviewed when you assign someone with no
tors. All agreed that an investigation of a multi-defendant police by the Panel stated that they training. how can he succeed?
corruption case designed to find out how far the cormption spreads did not know why they were
01,•• DA wI! wlI".lIl11nplrlCl_
should operate like a "widening net" where individual perpetrators selected to join the Task
are caught through wire-tapped conversations, taped interactions, Force. They did not believe
paper trail evidence, witness statements and other evidence. The that they were selected due to any particular skills they main-
RHO Task Force employed some of these methods when investi- tained. Indeed, a Deputy DA recalled that an officer from the
gating Rafael Perez for the cocaine theft. However, the Task Force Metto Division was assigned as the lead investigator in one case;
did not design such an investigation when following up on Perez' he had never conducted an investigation before.
allegations of misconduct. The Task Force investigations consisted
primarily of ascertaining whether there were witnesses or other Conclusion I. 1 1.
evidence to corroborate or refute Perez' allegations of wrongdoing. LAPD Foiled to AssiglJ Case RespolJSibility to D,u ItJdividual alJd
There were, for example, no stings or surveillance of officers impli- Used a Team Approach that Diluted Focus, Direction and Results
cated to determine whether they were still engaging in misconduct.
The department appeared to lack a clear and well-defined inves- Typically, senior RHO detectives have responsibility for running
tigative approach and strategy and did not establish a plan for inter- the case they are assigned. Although a captain or commander may
agency coordination. oversee the case, the RHO detective has all of the relevant infor-
mation and handles the day-to-day operations of the case, including
Conclusion 1.10. making decisions regarding staffing. This \\~JS not the case in the
As the Rampart Task Force Gnw, Atony Investigators Did Not Have Rampart Task Force. The senior RHO detectives on the Rampart
Adequate Skills alJd EXpenelJCe to Conduct 11/'l;estigations ilJto a Task Force were not allowed to select their own investigators. Task
Complex Police Corruption Scondal Force members recalled receiving conflicting directions from
LAPD command staff regarding investig'Jtive priorities.
Many of the members of the growing Rampart Task Force were
younger detectives with little relevant experience. Senior detec-
Running Page #66

Conclusion 1.12. used improper comparison questions, which are designed to cause
In Conducting the Polygraph Examination of Rafael Perez, the examinee to lie. If the comparison questions are not properly
LAPD's Polygrapher Employed Flawed Techniques that Undermined framed to cause the examinee to lie, the polygrapher will not have
the Validity ofthe ExamilJfltion an adequate basis on which to compare the examinee's answers to
the relevant questions.
Rafael Perez' allegations impugned the integrity of the entire Los
Angeles criminal justice system. The veracity of his allegations \I"JS The experts concluded that the number and magnimde of errors
centml to the criminal prosecutions, administmtive discipline and made in the Perez polygraph examinations were serious enough to
every other response made in connection to the CRASH crisis. preclude their validity. Indeed, one expert found the mistakes egre-
LAPD's steps in attempting to establish the vemcity of Perez' alleg'.\- gious enough to wonder whether they were deliberate. After
tions were therefore critical to the success or failure of the CRASH reviewing the first polygmph examination of Perez, the expen
crisis response. Most taskforce investigators and prosecutors inter- concluded in his repon: "Two assumptions could be dmwn. One,
viewed by the Panel concluded that much of what Rafael Perez that the examiner has no idea how to properly conduct a zone
alleged \I"JS supponed by independent facts. One supervisor familiar comparison examination[;] or two, that the examiner was trying to
with the CRASH investig'ation testified under oath at a Board of ensure a false positive result."
Rights that approximately 70 to 80% of Perez' allegations had been
corroborated. However, reg'arding the polygraph exam that was meant Despite the serious questions raised about the validity of the result,
to detennine Perez' veracity, the Panel's findings are disturbing. the polygrapher's initial conclusion that Perez tested "deceptive"
appeared to have had a devastating effect on the investigations of
LAPD administered five multi-issue polygraph examinations of Perez' allegations. "TIle longer things went on and the more prob-
Rafael Perez over several days in late Novem ber and early lems continued, the more I began to look back and see that Perez
December 1999. LAP D's polygraph examiner subsequently [purportedly] failing the lie detector test had colored our view of
concluded that Perez had tested "deceptive" on every exam. Perez and lessened our will to purse the cases because it made you
wonder whether any of it was true," one Deputy DA recalled.
At the request of Perez' attorney and the District Attorney's Office, "TIle lie detector test was a shock; it took the wind out of our sails.
polygraph experts reviewed the transcripts and results of the Perez I think a different result would've colored the whole investigation
polygraph examinations. Both the experts for Rafael Perez and the differently."
District Attorney found fundamental errors that effectively nulli-
fied the examinations. For example, LAP D's examiner used a Conclusion 1.13.
"directed lie" approach for some of the most critical parts of the LAPD's Failure to Offer Administrative /mmulJity Limited
examinations. In a "directed lie" format, the examiner directs the Efjectif£ness of /nvestigatiom
examinee to tell a lie so he can compare his reactions when lying to
his reactions when answering the other questions. The United LAPD command staff refused to consider offering administrative
Srates Department of Defense Polygraph Institute states that the immunity for officers who had witnessed wrongdoing but failed to
"directed lie" format is not acceptable for specific incident exami- promptly report it. A command staff officer who worked on
nations such as those given to Perez. Moreover, the polygrapher LAP D's Board of Inqu iry recalled that they had to tell every police
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Running Page #67

officer they interviewed that they could be subject to administra- 1lle persons overseeing the [f we knew someone had just
tive action if they disclosed that were involved in or aware of investigations had numerous
come from [Rampart Division]. we
misconduct that they had failed to report earlier. conflicts. For example,a lieu-
tenant assigned to the Task wouldn't put ~em on [Rampart Task
This failure to offer administrative immunity discouraged officers Force was the patrol watch Fuoce]... But here. we didn't have llie
from coming fOT'lvard to provide information and assist investiga- commander at Rampart Divi- luxury [to do more substantial vetting
tions. Prosecutors felt hamstmng. "\Ve knew that in a grand jury, sion when much of the mis-
for conflicts].
the guys who were present at an alleged incident would take the conduct occurred. While this
Fifth [Amendment]," one prosecutor recalled. "Not because of does not in and of itself indi- lAPD Clnnll. SlIlI wh WI". II Ran,a~ T•• F1a

criminal conduct, but because they knew they would get fired for cate any misconduct, it illus-
failing to report the misconduct." trates the department's failure to recognize the inherent conflict
of occupying both of those positions. In addition, a command
Even officers who committed relatively minor misconduct would not staff officer assigned to supervise the Task Force had sat on the
come forward for fear of administrative action. For example, a Task Use of Force Board for one of the officer-involved shootings that
Force investig'.Itor recalled discovering that an officer who probably Perez subsequently identified as bad. The Use of Force Board
had information about misconduct did not come fOT\\md because he had found the shooting "in policy."
had once drank a beer with Perez while in uniform.
A number of the investigators assigned to the Rampart Task Force
Had the department been had conflicts. In one instance, two Metro officers assigned to
[ understand the general purpose of willing to provide adminis- interview a potential victim of misconduct had worked with the
the failure to report rule [administratively trative immunity for rela- target of the investigation. A Task Force member familiar with
sanctioning officers for failing to report tively mmor infractions, the interview recalled that rapes of the interview revealed that
misconduct]. but [fe[t here it was used as officers with information these officers were questioning the victim "not to discern real
would likely have come truth but to confront him with things to muddle the real truth."
asword not as ashield.
forward to assist in the
Jnvestlganons. Conclusion 1.15.
LAPD Focused Disproporti01wtely 011 Pursuing the Boam of Inquiry
Conclusion 1.14. mId Admillistrative 11roestigatio1Js to the Detnmmt of Crimilwl
Conflicts of Interest UndermillCd the Investigations Investigations

When making assignments to the RHO Task Force (and subse- In early 2000, when prosecutors needed criminal investigators as
quently the Rampart Task Force), the department did not screen they raced to complete criminal investigations and prepare for
personnel for potential conflicts with the investigations' target offi- prosecutions, the department was allocating significant resources
cers. As a former command staff admirted, "\Ve were just thinking toward pursuing administrative cases. At the same time, the
about how to do it, not who was doing it." department diverted significant resources to its internal Board of
Inquiry into the CRASH crisis. Deputy DA's recalled that crim-
Running Page #68

inal investigations languished as investigators were pulled off investigations, that statement, and any information stemming
their cases to pursue Boards of Rights or work on the Board of from it, cannot be used in a criminal investigation .... Thus, if an
Inquiry. "It was maddening," one Deputy DA recalled. "\Ve investig'.Iting officer learns of information from a compelled srate-
would lose them for weeks at a time while they worked on the ment, that officer cannot conduct a criminal investigation where
Board of Inquiry ... We were trying to do criminal investig'.Itions. he or she could use the compelled information.
We felt that the Board of I nquiry could be done a year from now."
The DAs office repeatedly requested that LAPD assign more When LAPD submitted criminal investigative materials to the
officers to the criminal investigations. DA's Office and the U.S. Anorney's Office, prosecutors found
much of the information was included in or stemmed from
RamparrTask Force command compelled administrative sratements and therefore had been
We continue to be concerned
staff and supervIsors who contaminated. Prosecutors had to delay proceeding with criminal
that the number of detectives on the spoke to the Panel stated that cases until they ensured the cases were clean of all tainted infor-
'criminal' investigation side of the they felt compelled to aggres- mation. I ndeed, in mid-March 2000, the DA's Office described its
RHO/Rampart Task Force remains sively pursue administrative investigations as "frozen" due to their realization that virtually
cases because, at that time, the every investig'.Iting officer on the criminal cases had been exposed
depleted at atime when our inves-
City Charter provided that all to administratively compelled statements.
tigative needs are increasing. administrative investig'.Itions
April 18.2000 lit.. &l1li Ms DIIilli ClIIIlIIlIld Stall must conclude within one Shortly after the United States Anorney's Office and the FBI
il AIII,lrt Till FeRI
year. 1' They also conceded, became involved in the investigations, in early March 2000 -
however, that the department almost six months after Perez' allegations launched the DA's crim-
should not have devoted so much energy to pursuing relatively inal investigative efforts -
minor infractions like drinking on duty at "m ug parries" when alle- the U.S. Anorney's Office LAPD didn't grasp. or willfully
gations of shootings went neglected. provided roll call training to refused to grasp. Lybarger problems.
Task Force members on
Conclusion 1.16. separatlng administrative
The DepaTtmmt's Disproportionate Focus on Pursuing Administrative and criminal investigative
Cases Resulted ill Contamil/fltion of Crimil/flllnvestigations information. Some officers on the Task Force maintain that they
had not heard about the importance of this issue prior to the U.S.
Trying to satisfy the one-year limitations period for administrative Anorney's involvement. However, several members of the
actions, the department treated many investigations as adminis- District Anorney's Office stated that they had repeatedly stressed
trative inquiries at the outset, then had to convert them to crim- to the department the importance of separating administrative
inal investigations when it became clear they entailed criminal and criminal investigations.
misconduct. This often led to the criminal investigations being
tainted with compelled sratements made in the course of the
administrative phase of the investigations. Although police offi-
cers can be compelled to provide a sratement in administrative
58 ......part....,"""',da_"..~.o ... .....
~
Running Page #69

Conclusion 1.17. mission. "You could see them struggling," one Deputy District
Alost LAPD Rampart Task Force Investigators Did a Professional Job Attorney who worked with them recalled. "[The misconduct]
Investigating Perez' Al/fgatiolJS of Police AIiscollduct, Despite Chal/mgt'S wasn't right, bur he is a cop." The investigators' reactions illustrate
the conflict of interest inherent in the department attempting to
Rampart Task Force investig'.Itors faced significant challenges, investigate itself.
including witnesses wirh criminal backgrounds, cold trails of
evidence, massive polirical pressure conducring invesrigarions in Conclusion I. 18.
the middle of a scandal and A Smal/ Number of LAPD 11Jt.lestigators OIJ the Rampart Task Force
rhe resentmenr and non- UIJdermilud the CrimiIJalllroestigatiom
I wouldn't put myse~ llirough it cooperation of fellow offi-
[again], I wouldn't require anyone who cers. The Panel spoke to Although the vast majority of Task Force members were honest
worked for me to do that and Iwouldn't several currenr and former and hardworking, witnesses in the department and the District
officers who described these Attorney's Office observed that a small number of officers
put my family through thal
challenges inherent in inves- appeared to undermine the criminal investigations. Several
LAPIJ LiIutlII.. (lllaribiJl hi uperi8llC1 an lbl R....1Il tig'.Iting these alleg'.Itions of expressed their belief that these officers were trying to protect
T•• FlRI)
police misconduct. Many of their fellow officers under investigation. "Normally, working with
the incidents being invesri- an investigating officer, you arc on the same" "lin this case,] we
gated were several years old. TIle investigators were under heavy found they were conflicted. It was like prosecuting a family
pressure to complere rheir invesrigarions before starutes of limita- member." Others observed that some investigating officers were
tions expired and precluded prosecution ofrhe alleged misconduct. so disgusted by Perez' misconduct, they rejected anything he said
Many of the victims of the misconduct were gang members with out of hand. As one member of the Task Force put it, "In the
substantial criminal histories. Their credibility ptoblems increased minds of some investigators-and many In the Police
the pressure on investigators to find independent corroborating Department-Perez was a liar who could not be tmsted. No
evidence. Moreover, many potential victims and witnesses had matter what he said, they would not believe him." As a result of
moved in the intervening years since the incident and could not be their emotional rejection of Perez, they failed to objectively ascer-
located. When they were found, many witnesses had problems tain whether his allegations held any truth.
remembering details of years old incidents.
Several members of the District
The detectives.lAPD. during llie
The investig'.Iting officers also described the hostil ity they encou n- Attorney's Office blamed
tered within the department. They received harassing phone calls, LAPD command staff for the
trial were sitting on the opposite side
and one investigator reportedly received threats so serious that he problems their office encoun- [of the courtroom]. he hind the defen-
was assigned SWAT officers to guard his home. One Internal tered with the LAPD investi- dants. And at the [guilty] verdicts.
Affairs officer recalled that others in the department felt that gators. For example, when they I saw a detective shaking his head.
"Perez was a liar land] for us to take him seriously and ruin the lives tried to get LAPD to assist in
He was supposedly helping us.
of so many officers was typical of what IA investigators were getting a search warrant of
doing." The investig'.Itors themselves were ambivalent about their several suspect officers' homes,
Running Page #70

the Task Force lieutenant refused ro fulfill his normal role as the Conclusion 1.19.
affiant. Eventually, a Deputy DA signed the warrant application The Lack of Cooperation bemieen LAPD and the DA 's Office Hindered
himself, and the DA's Office used irs own investigarors to execute Progress in the Investigations
the warrant. An LAPD command staff member called the officers'
attorneys and tipped them off reg'.Irding the warrant's execution. The Deputy DAs who worked on the Rampart prosecutions
llle depattment took no disciplinary or criminal action against the recalled that in mid-March 2000, they stopped receiving informa-
person or persons responsible for the leak. Law enforcement tion and materials from LAPD investigators. "I had a case," one pros-
experts agreed that in any other circumstance, leaking a search ecutor recalled. "I asked for discovery from an investigator I had
warrant would have been considered obstnlction of justice and worked with for many years. I-Ie said, 'I have been ordered not to
risking the safety and well being of officers charged with executing give it to you.''' Deputy DAs beg'.In writing formal correspondence
the warrants in a safe and timely manner. memorializing LAPD investigators' refusal to turn over materials.

On the eve of the criminal trial against four officers, the court lllis Panel interviewed several Rampart Task Force members,
precluded the prosecution from introducing numerous wItnesses many of who expressed confusion regarding whether they had been
because LAPD had not turned over ordered by LAPD command to stop
their names in a timely fashion. cooperating with the DA's Office. All
Defense artorneys for the accused offi- I think the goal of LAPD was damage control. They of the Task Force members agreed,
cers obtained information that the pros- wanted to continue to avoid outside influences... Ithink they however, that the breakdown in the
ecution did not receive. One expert were confident they could weather the storm and minimize relationship with the DA's office -
witness f.lmiliar with the prosecutions liability... If along the way we get aprosecution. fine. and the accompanying correspondence
stated that a few LAPD investigators between the DA's Office and the
had passed material to defense counsel department -was unprecedented and
for the officers. Some of the investi- damaging. They believed that the
g'.Iting officers working with prosecutors during the trial failed to correspondence demonstrated a high-level management conflict
carry out basic duties they normally did in other criminal prosecu- bet'lveen the DA's Office and LAPD.
tions, such as protecting testifying witnesses to shield them from After the City Attorney's Office, the Attorney General's Office
angry bystanders. During the trial, some of the investigating officers and the Mayor's Office intervened, LAPD agreed to provide
sat on the defendants' side of the courtroom-a clear breach of materials simultaneously to the DA's Office and the U.S.
courtroom protocol duringa criminal prosecution. Attorney's Office." Although LAPD command staff subseq uendy
denied that it had stopped cooperating with the DA, an investiga-
Several members of the DA's office observed that as the scandal tion by the Office of the Inspector General found that LAPD did
grew, and the DA's prosecutorial efforts increased, LAPD appeared stop cooperating with the DA's Office. llle OIG further found
to focus on containing the scandal rather than conducting a thor- that the then Chief unnecessarily criticized the DA in violation of
ough investigation. The DAs found the lack of cooperation from LAPD policy, made misleading statements when he said that the
some LAPD investigators and LAPD command staff so disturbing DA had deliberately fabricated the dispute and during the course
that they reportedly convened a grand jury to investigate. of the DIG's investigation."
Running Page #71
60 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • • ~ . . . . .

Regardless of who bore responsibility for the breakdown, there is Conclusion 1.21.
no dispute that it severely hindered prosecutorial and investiga- Conflicts of Interest Ron through the Boord of Inquiry
tive efforts. The March 2000 breakdown is the most egregious
example of the failure by the department to focus on the larger The department did not screen officers to ensure that people
mission of the prosecutions and determining the full extent of the working on the Board of Inquiry did not have actual or apparent
scandal. conflicts of interest. Indeed, one police officer whom Perez had
identified as being "in the loop" and knowing about police miscon-
Conclusion 1.20. duct was acknowledged in the Board of Inquiry as a contributing
MOIJY Believe that Justice Was Not Served staff member.

Several officers told the Panel that they believe that officers who Some of the conflicts appear to be deliberate. For example, the
were culpable in the CRASH corruption escaped sanction; they Board of Inquiry assigned the then head of LAP D's Personnel
remain in the department and, in some cases, have been Group to head the Subcommittee on Personnel Profiles. The
promoted. Many also believe that innocent officers were unfairly department probably assigned these people because of their
investig'.Ited or prosecuted and the lives of several officers were expertise, but failed to
arbitrarily destroyed. acknowledge the potential
conflicts in assigning individ- The scope of ~e [Board of Inqui~l
Unanimously; criminal defense attorneys and civil plaintiffs' attor- uals to review their own work interview [of me] was very elemen-
neys believe that the extent of the corruption was covered up, areas and possible mistakes. tary. I was surprised. No one would
guilty officers got away and innocent people remain in prison. TIlUS, the depury chief and
conduct a credible investigation like
Indeed, the record is so muddied that one of the most knowledge- commander in charge of oper-
able judges in the CRASH crisis questioned why if there were so ations for an LAPD bureau that. The pu~ose of ~e Board of
many other culpable officers, so few were prosecuted. headed the subcommittee Inqui~ was to get the Chief of Police
investigating the eXIsting as much information as quickly as
LAPD'S BOARD OF INQUIRY management and strucmre for possible to manage the scandal.
LAP D's areas and bureaus;
LAPD convened the Board of Inquiry in September 1999, shortly the commander in charge of
after Perez' allegations became public. The Board of Inquiry the detective divisions headed
published its report in March 2000. The department dedicated a the subcommittee on corruption investig'.Itive protocol; and the
significant amount of its resources to the Board of Inquiry. The commander in charge of the Internal Affairs Group reviewed
Board of Inquiry Acknowledgements list over 200 command staff LAP D's criminal and administrative investig'.Itions of officer-
and officers who worked on the report and recognize that many involved shootings.
other LAPD officers and employees provided input into the
Board of Inq uiry. In several insmnces, officers interviewed their superiors on critical
issues. For example, a sergeant from Internal Affairs interviewed
the Internal Affairs commander and captain reg'.Irding corruption
Running Page #72

investigative protocol. Given their subordinate positions, and the to mention that at the time of its report LAPD officers them-
fact that their superiors may determine their future career selves conducted all background investigations."l Moreover, the
prospects, the subordinate interviewing officers may not have been Personnel Department has publicly disputed the Board of
willing to confront their supervisors or ask the kind of penetrating Inquiry's specific findings regarding the background and hiring of
questions that were necessary. This is particularly so given the the fout officers discussed in the Board of Inquiry Report."
pammilitary culture of LAPD.
Conclusion 1.23.
In another example, a former command staff recalled that the Board "Affirmative ActioN" Did Not Cause the Rampart CRASH Crisis
of Inquiry interviews regarding Rampart Division's supervision and
management were conducted by the former adjutant and lifelong Perhaps due to the Board of Inquiry's discussion of hiring practices,
friend of the deputy chief in charge of Central Bureau-the bureau several persons who spoke to the Panel speculated that the CRASH
responsible for Rampart. In fact, although it acknowledges a failure crisis was due in large part to poor hiring standards and the depart-
of leadership at Rampart Division, the Board of Inquiry docs not ment being forced to hire unqualified candidates under an "affirma-
assign any blame to bureau command."" tive action" mandate. However, an analysis by the City Personnel
Department, conducted at the request of this Panel, suggests that
Conclusion 1.22. this contention is unfounded. Experts in the Personnel Department
The Board of Inquiry Report Omitted Criticall'iformation in Its reviewed the background investig'.Ition and psychological evaluation
Discussi01J of Pers01J1Jel a1ld HiriNg files of randomly selected recruits hired in 1989-90, 1992-93 and
1996-97, years in which CRASH suspects entered the deparnnent.·7
Chapter 2 of the Board of Inquiry Report discusses hiring pmctices In addition, the experts reviewed the background investigation and
and identifies issues in the backgrounds offour police officers whom psychological evaluation files of seventeen current or former LAPD
Perez identified as having committed miscond uct. The Board of officers implicated in the CRASH crisis. The Personnel
Inquiry implies that the City's Personnel Department should bear Department experts found no instance where a candidate failed to
the brunt of the blame for hiring problematic applicants who should meet the LAP D's background or psychological standards.
never have been deemed qualified for hire." Among other things, Moreover, the experts found no meaningful difference in the
the Board of Inquiry recommends that the Chief of Police, rather application of background and psychological standards to candi-
than the Personnel Department, be gmnted ultimate authority to dates of \"'.Irying race or ethnicity. In any case, "affirmative action"
deem a candidate qualified and suitable for hire. could not explain white CRASH officers involved in misconduct or
the conduct of others hired prior to the use of "affirmative action."
The Board of Inquiry's discussion of hiring practices fails to
mention, however, that prior to 1992, the Personnel Deparnnent A summary of the Personnel Department analysis is included as
only reviewed the files of candidates that LAPD had recom- Appendix D.
mended for disqualification, and did not review the files of those
candidates deemed qualified by LAPD. The large majority of offi-
cers implicated in the CRASH crisis were deemed qualified by
LAPD and hired before 1992. Similarly, the Board of Inquiry fails
Running Page #73
62 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • • ~ . . . . .

Conclusion 1.24. TIle department did not conduct any investigation into these
The Board of Inquiry Limited !Jl'{)tstigations into the Extent missing logs but contends that it recompiled the information
ofMisconduct contained therein. The Board of Inquiry states that an audit of
Metro Division was begun but not completed in time for the report.
In assessing the extent of police corruption, the department limited That audit was apparently never completed.
its analysis in the Board of Inquiry to conducting selected inter-
views and reviewing arrest reports and use of force reports. The Conclusion 1.25.
department did not track complaints, conduct stings or do any other LAPD Failed to Issue F ol/ow Up Reports 011 Itlcomplete
investigations to identify possibly corrupt officers. Intlestigatio11 Anas

Persons who worked on the Board of Inquiry described for the The Board of Inquiry stated that the department would issue
Panel their methods of identifying and investigating potential follow up reports that, among other things, would include the
misconduct. TIley reviewed prior cases and search warrants results of the audits left unfinished by the Board of Inquiry,
involving selected Rampart eRAS I-I officers. If the reviewer found including the audits of Metro and other specialized units. As
a report that looked suspect, LAPD investig'.Itors would take the discussed below, these follow-u p reports, collectively referred to as
report to Rafael Perez and question him about the case. They did the after-action report, were never issued. The reasons for this
not cond uct any independent investigation into the matter prior to failure remain unexplained, notwithstanding the value such audits
consulting with Perez. Veterans of LAPD and other law enforce- and analyses may have had in illuminating systemic problems or
ment experts advised the Panel that-particularly in this case issues and the obvious bearing on preventing another scandal.
where Perez' credibility was a key issue-investigators should have
conducted an independent investigation so they knew more about
the case than Perez before consulting him. The After-Action Report

According to the Board of Inquiry, the department also conducted Conclusion 1.26.
"a trend analysis of sample cases of other specialized units LAPD Failed to Fulfil/Its Commitment to Produce an
throughout the department to determine if patterns emerged After-Action Report on the CRASH Crisis
similar to those that occurred in Rampart Area." (Board of Inquiry
at 22.) The Board of Inquiry's report did not contain any analysis When LAPD issued its Board of Inquiry, it stated that it was "the
of several specialized units, including Metro Division. According to first of at least two reports." (March 1,2000 Memorandum from
people who worked in the Board of Inquiry's work product working Chief of Police to Board of Police Commissioners, accompanying
group, staff attempting to review Metro Division files to pursue the Board of Inquiry.) The department stated that it would release a
records of Rampart CRASH alumni who had graduated into Metro second report publicly disclosing the "exact nature and disposition
found that sergeants' logs for two months were missing. When they of each allegation" of police corruption. Od.) The department
asked to launch a broader inquiry into Metto, they were told it expected to issue this follow-up re port approximately one year after
would not happen because Metro was untouchable. publishing the Board of Inquiry Report.
Running Page #74

More than six years after publication of the Board of Inquiry, no Conclusion 1.27.
after-action report has been published. It is widely accepted that LAPD Catltlot Provide an Acceptable Explatlatiotl for tile Failun
no such report will ever be released by LAPD. As a result, the to Produce the After-Actiotl Report
public will never know whether or to what extent the allegations
of corruption and misconduct were investigated and what the The Panel attempted to discern why the department was unable to
department learned. Indeed, this Panel's report will be the closest issue an after-action report. Panel investigators interviewed the
thing LAPD has to an after-action report. No one accepts respon- former LAPD command staff who had been responsible for writing
sibility for this failure. However, itappears that the blame must be the report. I-Ie told investigators that he had envisioned the need
shared among the Police Commission, prior LAPD leadership and for an after-action accounting soon after the department began
other City officials who may have had the power to get the report investigating the Rampart scandal. Accordingly, he reported that he
finished. It appears that nobody had the desire or political will to had told managers in charge of the department's administrative and
complete the after-action report and address the questions that criminal investigations to keep track of what they did and why.
would have obviated the need for this Panel. Eventually, he did receive three draft reports: one discussing
LAP D's handling of administrative investigations related to the
In the spring of 2002, the Los Angeles Times published an article Rampart scandal; one discussing the department's handling of
reporting that the promised after-action report, originally to be Rampart criminal matters; and one discussing the department's
published in early 2001, was now more than a year overdue." At handling of Rampart related Boards of Rights. I-Ie recalled,
that time, LAPD officials stated that the report was "weeks, if not however, that these draft reports were totally unacceptable in that
longer, away from completion." The article quoted the LAPD they had little or no factual support for their conclusions.
commander in charge of writing the after-action report as saying,
"The chief committed to [issuing the report], and that commit- I-Ie recalled that the Police Commission and the Interim Chief had
ment will be met." been asking for the draft report. Eventually, he provided the draft
reports to the Interim Chief. I-Ie recalled that the Interim Chief
Following the Los Angeles Times article, the Police Commission was similarly unhappy with the drafts. I-Ie believed that the
made repeated requests for the after-action report. However, by Interim Chief showed or circulated the dmfts to the Commission
the time William Bratton took over as LAPD Chief in October and discussed them with them in closed session.'"'
2002, no report had been issued. In February 2003, Chief Bratton
called the department's effort to account for its handling of the Although he recalled being unhappy with the draft reports he
Rampart scandal "totally inadequate," and called for an inde- received, the former commander asserted that he could not remember
pendent blue ribbon panel to address the issue. The Police who had responsibility for completing the drafts or who provided
Commission agreed and, in July 2003, appointed this Panel "to them to him. Given the pressure he reportedly received from the
investigate and review the response by the City and others to the Interim Chief and the Police Chief, and the negative reaction he
Rampart Area scandal in order to determine the extent to which described upon reviewing the drafts, the Panel cannot accept this
the underlying causes for the scandal have been identified and assertion and does not find it credible. As a result, this refusal to iden-
addressed."" tify the persons responsible for drafting the various sections of the
after-action report lim ited the Panel in its investig'.Ition of this issue.
Running Page #75
64 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • • ~ . . . . .

Rampart Boards of Rights compared to the criminal misconduct alleged. For example, the
department proceeded against a number of officers for failing to
Conclusion 1.28. report misconduct.
The Rampart Related Boards of Rights Largely Foiled
The City Charter requ ired that the department charge administra-
1lle Panel identified approximately 400 internal Investigations tive matters involving no criminal misconduct within one year of
commenced by the deparnnent relating to the CRASH crisis. discovering the conduct. The department's rush to complete these
Approximately eighty-six of these investigations resulted in internal administtative cases within the limitations period drained v"dluable
Boards of Rights. 1llese numbers are approximate because the resources from criminal investigations. Moreover, the department
Panel was unable to obtain complete information reg'drding the sent several of these matters to Boards of Rights before it had
Rampart related Boards of Rights. The department's failure to main- completed their investigations.
tain any kind of centralized repositoty of Rampart CRASH material
forced the Panel to reconstruct the profiles of Rampart related 1lle Panel reviewed transcripts ftom a number of the Boards of
administrative investigations and Boards of Rights, including Rights related to the CRASH crisis. Based on its review, the Panel
complaint file numbers and names, before identified numerous disadvantages faced
Professional Standards Bureau could by the advocates prosecuting these cases
provide the Panel with any Rampart related [A captain who reviewed ~e Rampart CRASH on behalf of the department. In many
Boards of Rights material. PSB subse- Boards of Righ~l said. These Boards of Righ~ are instances, the department advocates-
quently expended over three hundred asking for 7B% not 51%: mainly sergeants with no formal legal
hours overtime to ptovide the Panel with as ttaining-were simply outmatched by the
Lillllllllllw" wlrbjll RIII,lrtTllk FerCI(iIilCllillklrl.1! ,III!
much Boards of Rights information as seasoned private defense attorneys repre-
ilr IIIn"" a.rillli Rilkb)
possible, but had this information been senting accused officers. The advocates
properly maintained, such an effort would found themselves unable to effectively
not have been necessary. The Panel was forced to cobble together respond to many of the leg'dl arguments made by defense counsel,
the relev"dnt Boards of Rights infonnation ftom dispatate offices including such basic issues as whether the statute of limitations
including the District Anorney's Office, the City Attorney's Office, precluded the charges. In some cases, it appeared that the advo-
LAPD's Risk Management and the files of priv"dte attorneys. cates had not received adequate time to prepare their cases. 1lleir
Through these efforts, the Panel obtained information for eighty-six main witnesses were often gang members with long criminal histo-
Rampart related Boards of Rights. LAPD does not know how many ries or, in some cases, Rafael Perez himself. Even absent their cred-
such Boards it conducted, but the Panel estimates that this is consti- ibility problems, these witnesses posed challenges due to memory
tutes most of the cases tried. lapses regarding incidents that occurred years earlier. An advocate
in a Board of Rights often found himself unable to produce police
The vast majority of the Boards of Rights the Panel identified stem- officer witnesses who had resigned and refused to appear.
ming from the Rampart CRASH crisis resulted in findings of not
guilty."' In many instances, the department convened Boards of In addition, the Panel noted that several Boards of Rights members
Rights against officers for conduct that was relatively minor seemed inclined ag'dinst finding officers guilty in these cases.
Running Page #76

Although a Boatd of Rights is supposed to apply a standatd of Moreover, the Panel is aware of several recent Boards of Rights that
prepondetance of evidence, many of these Boards of Rights have reached troubling outcomes. For example, last year, a Board
seemed to apply a much heavier burden. In several instances, the of Rights found a former Rampart officer not guilty of miscond uct
Boards of Rights would discount testimony given against an for which a jury had found him guilty." The Panel reviewed the
accused officer by witnesses with criminal histories. Yet, the same Rationale of that Board's finding and concluded that the Board
Boards found jailhouse snitches testifying against Perez "very cred- appeared to strain to reach for that finding-stating incorrectly that
ible," despite their criminal histories. the officer had been found not guilty at trial, discounting several
TIle Boards seemed to discount any testimony provided by Rafael witnesses who testified against the officer and relying heavily on
Perez. At least one Captain announced before a Board of Rights the testimony of the accused officer who claimed innocence and
beg-,In that he would not make any finding of guilt based on Perez' another officer who had also been criminally charged and found
testimony. Task Force investigators who testified at Boards of guilty by a jury for his conduct in the incident."
Rights recalled that they were attacked for taking Perez' allegations
seriously enough to investigate. "TIley were putting my character LAPD Self-Investigation
on the stand," one investigator recalled. "Asking would I side with
a 'pathological liar.''' Conclusion 1.29.
LAPD Foiled ill its Allemptto Itwtstigate Itself ill C01J1uctioll
Everyone interviewed agrees that the Boards of Rights process has with the Rampart CRASH Crisis
improved significantly. Under Chief Bratton, the department has
reserved the Boards of Rights process for only the most serious As the above findings make clear, LAPD failed in its attempts to
cases. As a result, the number of Boards of Rights has decreased conduct its own investigations into the CRASH crisis. Indeed, if
dramatically-from lSI in 2002 to forty-five in 2004. Training and the department had intentionally tried to develop a plan to mask
skill levels for department representatives have improved the extent of CRASH corruption and limit the number of officers
markedly. Even defense attorneys who represent accused officers punished, it could not have had a better plan.· l
admit that the cases the department presents at Boards of Rights
are more thorough in terms of investigation and presentation. LAPD is not unique in its inability to investigate itself. No institu-
tion can investigate itself during a crisis of the magnimde of the
However, the Boards of Rights still appear problematic in consis- CRASH crisis. TIle intense
tently and fairly establishing the guilt or innocence of an officer and vortex of fear and pressure
assessing appropriate penalties. Members of the Panel personally during such a high stakes,
We are not going to cause injury
observed selected Boards of Rights and reviewed transcripts and high profile CTlSIS would to ourselves in an investigation...
rationales of others. Sergeants who serve as department advocates produce reactive and defen- Thatis not just in our organization. In
still appear outmatched by priv"Jte defense attorneys representing sIve responses from any medical or teaching professions.
accused officers in some cases. Despite PSB's training efforts, there agency which would preclude
there is apractice of protocting your
still appears to be some confusion among those who sit on Boards the objective and clear-eyed
of Rights as to whether legal arguments (such as staunes of limita- perspectives needed to prop- own.
tions or hearsay rules) should be considered." erly frame the investigations. lAPD SI,em.rw" WI"" . . . Han,a~T.l F1n:e
Running Page #77
66 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • • ~ . . . . .

Even assuming an agency could adequately investigate itself, Its through the department's criminal and administrative investiga-
investigations would nevet have the credibility afforded to an tions and its internal Board of Inquiry.
outside investigation. In order to prevent actual and apparent conflicts of interest such
as those that occurred during the CRASH crisis, the department
It is the Panel's view that institutional pride can breed institutional should develop a written conflicts policy. The policy should
denial. 1ltis denial is evidenced in the conflicts that the depart- provide guidelines for staffing officers to divisions, specialized
ment's investigating officers felt in pursuing fellow officers during units and special task forces such as the RHO/Rampart Task
the CRASH crisis. Force. For example, the guidelines should prohibit an officer
from working on an investigation involving any officer with whom
the investig'.Iting officer has previously worked.
Recommendations For LAPD'S Prevention
Of And Response To The Next Large-Scale Recommendation 1.3.
Corruption Crisis Implemellt AIJti-Retaliati01J alld WhistlebloID'er ProtectiOIJS

Recommendation I. 1. The department must implement effective anti-retaliation and


The Departmmt Should Notlglwre Early 11Idicators of whistleblower protection systems to be run by a dedicated office
Larger Problems within LAPD. The department recently released a new anti-
retaliation policy with explicit whistle-blower protections.
The depanment cannot ignore early warnings such as those evident Creating a dedicated office to investigate retaliation complaints
leading up to the CRASH crisis. As discussed in the Road Ahead and enforce whistleblower protections would allow retaliation
above, the Panel became aware of several recent troubling incidents investigators to develop special skills, and receive training from
involving signature behaviors of the CRASH crisis that failed to anti-retaliation experts. Current staffing levels and resources for
provoke strong intervention from first line supervisors. The depart- the new policy do not appear adequate.
ment must examine these incidents and take appropriate action to
ensure that they arc not indicators of larger problems and examine Recommendation 1.4.
the possibility that department norms may also be pan of the Dedicate Additiollal Resources to Protecting EvidmCf
problem. Storage Facilities

Recommendation 1.2. Although safeguards at evidence stotage facilities have improved


Droelop COllflicts of 11Iterest Policy since the Rampart CRASH crisis, vulnerabilities remain. At a
minimum, the department should equip its evidence storage facil-
As discussed above, conflicts of interest not only contributed to the ities with cameras for continual monitoring. Moreover, the
CRASH cormption crisis, they hindered the department's ability to Property Division should be given adequate staff to conduct
investigate and respond to the crisis. Conflicts of interest tan regular audits and inventories, particularly of its narcotics.
Running Page #78

Recommendation 1.5. insmnce, the Sheriffs Department immediately invited fedeml


Develop Protocol for Investigating Serious Police Misconduct Cases authorities in to investigate potential ctiminal miscond uct by its offi-
as Police Corruption Cases with Systemic Implications cers and cooperated fully with the fedeml investig'.Ition.

When investig'.Iting serious misconduct by a police officer, the Recommendation I. 7.


department should from the outset treat the case as one with Prioritize CrimilJflllmJestigati01JS
possible systemic implications. Thus, for example, in addition to
investigating the discrete criminal activity of the target officer, the TIle department has substantially separated administrative and
department should examine the supervision failures and cultuml criminal investigations. In the next police corruption crisis, the
systems that shielded and possibly g'.Ive rise to the corruption. The department should prioritize the investig'.Itions of potential crim-
department should immediately develop a protocol for conducting inal misconduct. Thus, the depanment should dedicate adequate
such investigations; it should not wait until the next misconduct staff and resources toward assisting in the criminal investigations
case anses. and should defer administrative investigations and inquiries until
the criminal investigations are substantially completed.
Recommendation 1.6.
LAPD Should TmlJSfer IntlestigatiolJ ofthe Next Large COrruptiOIJ In addition, the Chief of Police should consider offering limited
Crisis over to a Properly Resourced, Indepmdmt, Atulti-Agency administmtive immunity for less serious administrative infractions
Im.lestigatiolJ Force to assist in building criminal investigations.

Given the results of the response to the Rampart CRASH crisis, Recommendation 1.8.
investigation of the next LAPD corruption scandal should be Defer Conducting Intemal Analyses, such as the Board of InquilY,
handed over to a fully resourced, independent task force of outside Until Criminal Investigations Are Largely Completed
experts who receive full cooperation from the Chief of Police and
the department. The taskforce should include relevant expertise The department's prioritization of criminal investig'.Itions should
from the LAPD Inspector General, LAPD leaders without conflicts include deferring internal anal yses if necessary. Internal anal yses of
or possibility of involvement in the alleged corruption, FBI police systems, while important, are not as time-sensitive as criminal
corruption investigators, LA County District Anorney's Office, the investigations and should therefore be deferred until criminal
United States Anorney's public and police corruption units, the investigations are largely completed.
State Anorney General's office, expert police reform investig'.Itors
like the Police Assessment Resource Center, and the LA County Recommendation 1.9.
Sheriffs Office of Independent Review. Whm Conducting an Intemal Analysis of a Large-Scale Corruption
TIle investigations should be designed to capture widespread, Crisis, the DepartmelJt Should C01Jduct an Uldimited AssessmelJt of
multi-defendant criminal activity, with stings, wiretaps and field Systems and Should Bling in Outside Experts
JnvestJg'.ItJons. Several LAPD veterans and law enforcement
experts cited the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department's "Big Spender" The department's internal analysis of a large-scale corruption crisis
scandal of the late 1980's as a model of this open approach. In that should consist of a wide-ranging, department-wide assessment of
Running Page #79
68 ......part ""'""",'da_ ".. ~ A • • • • ~ . . . . .

systems and patterns. Outside police experts should be brought in II. PROSECUTORIIlL IlGENCIES
to consult with LAPD on how to stmcture and plan its internal
systems mqulry. Moreover, outside experts could review the Conclusions Regarding Prosecutorial Agencies
department's assessment before completion to identify areas of And The Rampart CRASH Crisis
inquiry the department may have missed.
The District Attorney's Office
Recommendation 1.10.
Produce a Thorough aNd Cndible After-Aai01J Report Conclusion 11.1.
for Public DistributiolJ Atthe Time ofthe CRASH Crisis, the DA's Office Was Not
Sufficimtly Proactive in its Approach toward Police Corruption
The next time a large-scale corruption crisis occurs, the deparr- ilJ Los AIJgeles COUIJty
ment should produce a credible and thorough assessment of its
own response to the crisis. 1lle report should include, if appro- At the time of CRASH corruption crisis, the Los Angeles DA's
priate, set forrh the resolution of all allegations of misconduct. Office was not proactive enough in its approach to police corrup-
The report should be publicly available. tion. Generally, at that time, the DA's Office would wait for a
"crisis," such as the CRASH corruption scandal, then scramble to
Recommendation I. 11. put together a task force to deal with it. As one member of
The CUrrelJt Booms of Rights System Should Be Replaced the DA's Office described their
approach to police corruption at
1lle current Board of Rights system that pits officer representa- that time, "we sit on our bottoms
The DA. in los Angeles and
tives with no legal training against seasoned defense attorneys and until something is reported in the ~roughout State. [tradITionally]
under which the department lost approximately two thirds of the LA Times or someone brings us act almost helpless in the faa!
CRASH-corruption cases, to be replaced by a system which prose- something and then we say to of polia! corruption.
cutes the most serious cases of miscond uct with department attor- LAPD, 'hey bring us something.'''
neys who are experts in police policy and culture. 1llis new pros- Other members of the DA's Office
eOltion function should be assigned to a new Police Commission acknowledged that, perhaps by
unlt. necessity, the DA's Office must work on the assumption that each
police department can prevent corruption and, except in unusual
The Panel also recommends that captains should be assigned to circumstances, can adequately investig'.Ite such corruption when it
a full year of exclusive Boards of Rights duty to avoid the drain occurs. Indeed, some members of the DA's Office observed that
on other captains' responsibilities and the debilitating delays the decision to dedicate significant resources to the CRASH crisis
that undermine timely prosecutions. was itself unusual.

In December 2000, the DA's Office created the Justice System


Integrity Division ("JSID") to handle all police cormption investi-
g'.Itions in addition to crimes affecting the integrity of the justice
Running Page #80

system. 1lle establishment of a specific unit to address police Conclusion 11.3.


corruption is a significant improvement. It is important, however, The DA 's Office's Did Not Adequately Stoff and Supervise the Trial,
parricu larly in light of the fact that JS I0 investigators presume that Plea and Subsequetltlnterrogations of Rafael Perez
police police themselves, that JSID be proactive and use a variety
of investigative techniques to root out corruption before it becomes The Deputy DA assigned to the RHO Task Force had never before
a CflSIS. taken a police corruption case to verdict. Although he had worked
in the DA's public corruption unit, most of his public corruption
Conclusion 11.2. experience related to judges and other non-law enforcement offi-
The DA's Office Did Not Adequately Stoffthe RHD Task Force cials. Working with little or no
Prior to Perez' Disclosure of Widespread Corruption supervision, this individual tried [One 01 llie RHO Task Force
the initial drug case against
Detectives] kept saying. 'We
LAPD formed the RHO Task Force in May 1998. At that time, Perez, subsequently negotiated
LA PO asked for assistance from the DA's Office. A veteran prose- and accepted Perez' plea, and led have 20 or 40 detectives and
cutor from the DA's Office briefed the Task Force on some of the the interrogations of Perez on one I---ing DA:
more challenging aspects of a complex narcotics investig'.Ition (e.g., behalf of the DA's Office.
the required showings for obtaining a wiretap). However, the DA's
Office did not get involved in the Task Force on an ongoing basis The criminal narcotics trial of Perez ended in a mistrial after the jury
at that time. deadlocked. As the Deputy DA prepared for a retrial, the RHO
Task Force uncovered additional narcotics thefts likely committed
In early July 1998, a Deputy DA joined the RHO Task Force. As by Perez. 1lle Deputy DA continued to add charges to the indict-
discussed above, the RHO Task Force was investigating several ment. Before the retrial began, the Deputy DA offered Perez a deal
issues. However, the Deputy DA assigned to the Task Force of five years in prison and immunity for undisclosed criminal
worked exclusively on Rafael Perez' theft of narcotics. No one misconduct, if he pled guilty and cooperated with authorities. The
from the DA's Office worked closely with the Task Force deal included a condition that if Perez were involved in any acts of
regarding the other issues under the Task Force's purview. 1lle violence, the deal would be off and Perez would receive no immu-
Deputy DA who worked with the Task Force stated that he did nity. Initially, Perez did not accept the deal. As the retrial began,
not feel that he needed additional staff. I-Ie acknowledged, however, Perez advised the court and the Deputy DA that he
however, that Task Force investigators expressed frustration with wanted to accept the plea deal but there was a problem. The
the lack of DA staffing. Deputy DA agreed to grant Perez limited use immunity for
purposes of disclosing the problem. At that time, Perez stated that
Judging from the resources it dedicated to the RH 0 Task Force, he and his partner had shot Javiar Ovando and covered it up, but
the DA's Office did not focus on the systemic implications of Perez' that OV".Indo had not died from the shooting. After discussing it by
cocaine theft and the other areas of police corruption investigated phone with his bureau director, the Deputy DA agreed to grant
by the RHO Task Force. Perez immunity for the shooting and grant derivative use immunity
for other uncharged criminal acts (provided Perez \\~.Is involved in no
other use of force incidents resu Iting in great bodily injury or death).
Running Page #81
70 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • • ~ . . . . .

In accepting the plea ofRafJel Perez and granting him deriv"Jtive usc Despite Perez' revelations, the Deputy DA who had been assigned
immunity for uncharged criminal acts, the DA's Office failed to fulfill to the Task Force remained the primary DA working on the case for
the procedures necessary for Perez to be immunized from federal almost three more months. I-Ie maintains that he worked with
prosecution. Indeed, the United States Attorney subsequently pros- virtually no supervision or direction as he developed protocols for
ecuted and convicted Perez under federal law. The former Deputy interrogating Perez and served as the DA's Office representative in
DA who 'VJS involved in the plea mainmined that all of the parties the interrogations.
and the judge taking Perez' plea believed that the DA's grant would
immunize Perez from federal prosecution. However, several current Conclusion 11.4.
and fomler prosecutors told the Panel that they would have known The 11IIerrogolion Process of Perez Was FItl'lJI'ed
that add itional steps would be required to secure immunity for Perez
under state and federal law. It docs not appear that the issue '\~JS seri- The Deputy DA recalled that he asked Perez whether any other
ously considered by any of the parties involved, and the DA's Office persons were wrongly in prison. Perez responded that he would
apparently had no protocols in place regarding how to handle immu- have to sec the artest reports to refresh his recollections. TIle
nized testimony that might implicate federal crimes. Deputy DA directed RHO Task Force detectives to bring Perez
piles of arrest reports and have Perez identify problematic reports.
Only after Perez entered his guilty plea did the Deputy DA realize Investigators recalled that they
that Ovando had been criminally prosecuted based on Perez and eventually showed Perez over There was no reason to give
Durden's cover up. TIle Deputy DA recalls being "completely 1500 artest reports. Perez even-
speechless" when he learned that the DA's Office had charged tually sat for more than thirty
Perez a stack of reports and let
OV"Jndo with assaulting a police officer and brandishing a weapon. separate mterrogatlon sessIons. him identify which were had. That
I-Ie soon learned that Ovando had been convicted by a jury after is not an investigative tactic... You
Perez and Durden testified. The judge had sentenced Ovando to The District Attorney's Office ask what they know.
more than twenty-three years in prison, in part due to Ovando's and department's focus on
lAPD\\rte•• D8lIu:1M
apparent lack of remorse. getting innocent people out of
jail is commendable. In retrospect,
Almost immediately after taking Perez' plea, the Deputy DA and however, nearly every- one agrees that providing Perez with the
RHO Task Force members began to interrogate Rafael Perez. arrest reports to assist him in disclosing misconduct hampered
Perez began to describe alleged misconduct among officers in investigative efforts. Law enforcement experts agree that some
Rampart CRASH. The Deputy DA present at the interrogations independent investig'Jtion should have been conducted before inter-
recalls that he and the RI-IDTask Force members were shocked by viewing Perez. Instead, the DA and department made Perez their
Perez' disclosures. They had not conducted any proffer prior to primary source of investigative infonnation. Perez had admittedly
entering the plea agreement to determine what information Perez lied under oath about his narcotics thefr and the OV"Jndo shooting,
might disclose. They had expected Perez to disclose additional which gave him obvious credibility problems as a wimess. Giving
narcotics activity and possibly provide additional information about Perez the opportunity to review the arrest reports before disclosing
bank robber David Mack, but had not anticipated the litany that the misconduct made Perez more vulnerable to charges that he fabri-
Perez produced. cated mles of misconduct based on his review ofthe reports.
Running Page #82

They kept gDing hack tD [Perez]. I-laving a single Deputy DA in Conclusion 11.6.
charge of the Perez interroga- Members of the DA 's Office Recfll/ Feeling Ovu'idelmed
It was amess. There were so many
tions may have exacerbated by the Smle of the CRASH Crisis
incidents that he brought up. Just these problems. Obviously,
reading the transcripts was mind- the DA's Office had to allocate As the scope of the CRASH crisis began to unfold, members of the
hDggling. Its limited resources effi- DA's Office found themselves overwhelmed by its scale. "1llere
ciently. And persons present were too many targets," one Deputy DA recalled. "\Ve were
during the Perez interroga- looking for provable cases using one standard, and yet using
tions would likely have been another standard for deciding which cases to dismiss because we
exposed to administratively had no confidence in the convictions."
compelled statements and therefore precluded from working on
criminal cases.'l6 In addition, having a single DA present for all At the time the scandal exploded into the headlines, the DA's
the interrogations may have made it easier to build a rapport with Office had a relati vel y small number of attorneys responsible for a II
Perez. However, having only one Deputy DA interrogating of the police misconduct and other public corruption cases in Los
Perez makes it difficult for that Deputy to make objective deci- Angeles County. Senior members of the DA's Office recalled that
sions regarding Perez' credibility. Indeed, several members of they quickly realized they would have to add staff, but found that
the DA's Office expressed their belief that the Deputy DA in it took some time to develop a strategy and put a team together.
charge of the Perez interrogations became too entangled with his
wItness. The DA's Special Prosecution Team eventually took shape in mid-
December 1999 - more than three months after Perez' initial alle-
Conclusion 11.5. gations of misconduct. The Special Prosecution Team included a
The DA's Office Worked Quickly to Develop fl F flir Stmldflrd group to review convictions, a group to pursue criminal prosecution
for Determillillg w)hether COIJVictio1JS Should Stmld of officers and a small group to review administrative records and
clean them of compelled information before providing them to
1lle DA's Office should be commended for quickly working to criminal prosecutors for review.
develop a fair standard for determining whether a conviction
should be overturned based on Perez' allegations of misconduct. Conclusion 11.7.
As Perez began disclosing misconduct, the DA's Office devel- The DA's Specifll Prosecutio11 Teflm Wori·ed Hflrd ill Chfll/t1Jgillg
oped the approach that they would seek to set aside a person's Environmt1Jt to Pursue Cflses They Thought Viflb!e
conviction if they lost faith in its integrity, regardless of the
person's actual guilt or innocence. Eventually, more than 150 The Special Prosecution Team worked well together to pursue the
felony convictions were overturned-more than 100 as a result of cases they thought viable. Although many team members did not
the DA filing its own motion or conceding to those filed by know each other before they were assigned to the Special
defense counsel." Prosecution Team, they quickly bonded. The team worked in a
separate area of the DA's Office. Team members maintained that
they always felt supported by the DA himself and the head of the
Running Page #83
72 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • • ~ . . . . .

Special Prosecution Team. However, some team members recalled Conclusion 11.9.
feeling that othet DAs did not support the CRASH prosecutions. The DA 's Office Did Not Appear to Adequately Consider the Aterits
One team member recalled: "There was a definitive attitude that of TUn/ing these Cases over to on Indepmdmt Prosecuting Agml}'
Ithe officets undet investigation] are not bad. 'You are buying Perez'
story and we know he was a bad cop.''' Several DAs who worked on the Rampart Special Prosecution
Team acknowledged that the CRASH prosecutions were particu-
Conclusion 11.8. larly challenging because the DA's Office normally works so
AlallY Prosecutioll Team Alembers Recalled Beillg U'JOccustomed closely with LAPD. However, no one from the DA's Office seemed
to the Challellge of Prosecutillg Police Officers. to seriously consider handing the prosecutions over to an agency
that does not work as closely with LAPD, such as the U.S.
The attorneys assigned to the Special Prosecution Team were Attorney's Office.
personally selected by the head of the Special Prosecution Team
and the DA himself. Several of the team members came from TIle DA's Office apparent resistance to turning the cases over to
prosecuting gang members, which gave them significant experi- federal authorities may owe in part to historical tensions between
ence trying difficult cases. However, most of the team members federal and state prosecutors. Several members of the DA's Special
did not have experience trying police Prosecution Team stated that they did
officers. Moreover, they did not receive not feel the U.S. Attorney's Office
any significant training on handling
It was like it was through the looking glass. supported them during the CRASH
police corruption cases before joining the 1IB,1Iy DAw" wlr"'." IIInpllrlc8S1S i:lnpllril11lll ,rm:lli,," crisis. In addition, the District Attorneys
team. Several recalled being surprised by pilla offillllJ. ,"r p_'ms1 unanimously reported that the U.S.
the challenges police prosecutions Attorneys office would have taken far too
presented. "You had to change the whole mind set," one DA long to complete the investig'.Itions. Nevertheless, virtually all of
recalled. ''The experience was completely foreign to how a prose- the members of the DA's Office who spoke to the Panel acknowl-
cutor normally approaches a case." Another prosecutor compared edged the unique challenges they faced working with LAPD to
the CRASH prosecutions to Alice in Wonderland because It was prosecute their own officers. TIle lack of cooperation between the
the reverse of what a prosecutor usually expects in trial. DA's Office and the LAPD, discussed above, were well publicized.
I-landing the cases to an outside agency that docs not work closely
In some insClnces, the prosecutors failed to anticipate problems with LAPD on a regular basis could have facilitated the CRASH
that can arise in police prosecutions. For example, one DA recalled crIsIs Investlg'.ItJOns.
being surprised to discover that their investigating officers did not
follow the standard practice of isolating prosecution witnesses. As Conclusion 11.10.
a result, police officer prosecution witnesses were left sitting in the The DA 's Office Did Not Follow Up 011 All of Perc;;' Allegatiolls, ill
hallway, subject to hostility by other officers and others in the port because LAPD Did Not Submit Full Submissions
crowd.
In December 2000, a new District Attorney took office. In early
2001, the DA assigned a new team, the "Ad Hoc Rampart Task
Running Page #84

Force," to take over the CRASH prosecutions. Ad Hoc Task Force address eight of the ten unlawful shootings Perez had identified."
members recalled that soon after they took over, they discovered The Times reported that one shooting had since been submitted
that LAPD had not followed standard proced ure in formally and rejected due to the sratute of limirations having expired.
submitting the CRASH cases to the DA's office for filing consider- Members of the DA's Office informed the Panel that at the time of
ation. In fact, they learned that LAPD investig'.Itors had recorded the declination memoranda, an investigation was ongoing in at least
many cases as submitted and rejected for filing by the DA's Office one shooting. TIle Panel learned that the DA's Office formally
when members of the DA's Office had never considered the cases closed that case (and declined to prosecute) in late 2004. The Panel
submitted. For example, one member of the DA's Office -who was unable to definitively account for the remaining shootings.
was not on the Special Prosecution Team or the Ad Hoc Task However, based on interviews, the Panel sumlises that the investi-
Force-recalled that an acquaintance on LAPD's RHO Task g'.Itions of these shootings were never formally submitted to the
Force telephoned him and asked whether, assuming certain facts, DA's Office by LAPD.
there would be enough evidence to file charges. The LAPD inves-
tigator never disclosed that it was a real case, let alone one that Conclusion 11.11.
related to the Rampart. When the DA said he did not think there The County's Civil Grand Jury Failed to Produce an AssessmUlt
would be sufficient evidence to charge, the LAPD recorded the of the CRASH Crisis
case closed on this DA's recommendation.
As an initial matter, the Panel notes that it had limited access to the
TIle Ad Hoc Rampart Task Force required that LAPD follow a Rampart civil grand jury materials. TIle chair of this Panel joined
formalized procedure for submitting Rampart related cases. They with the District Attorney, City Attorney, the Los Angeles Times and
informed LAPD that for every case, the department must submit a other interested parties to request the grand jury transcripts or draft
completed case file to the DA and receive a form from the DA's grand jury report regarding the Rampart CRASH scandal. The
Office acknowledging submission. LAPD subsequently submitted Court declined the req uests. The findings below are based on
many cases under this formalized process. However, members of information the Panel derived from interviews and a review of a
the DA's Ad Hoc Rampart Task Force acknowledge that some cases limited number of non-confidential documents.
may not have been formally submitted by LAPD. TIle Ad Hoc
RampartTask Force did not believe it had sufficient infonnation to In early 2002, the DA came before the Los Angeles County civil
enable it to follow up with LAPD to ensure that the department grand jury and asked it to consider certain aspects of the CRASH
formally submitted all of the cases it had earlier recorded as crisis. Against the recommendation of county counsel, the grand
submitted. As a result, it appears that a number ofthe criminal inci- jury agreed to consider the issue. Over a period of two and one-half
dents alleged by Perez were never formally submitted to or consid- weeks, the grand jury heard from several witnesses, including
ered by the DA's Office. current and former LAPD Chiefs. At the close of testimony, the
grand jury asked the DA's Office to draft a report of their findings.
In November 2002, the DA issued its declination memoranda, After receiving the draft report, however, the grand jury foreperson
setting forth the reasons for declining to prosecute the eighty-two informed the DA's Office that the grand jury declined to publish a
cases that LAPD had formally submitted to the DA's Office. As the report. Despite urging from the DA and the City Attorney that the
Los Angeles Times has reported, the DA's memoranda did not grand jury release its report or release the transcripts of testimony,
Running Page #85
74 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • • ~ . . . . .

the grand jury stated that it would not authorize release of the Prosecution Team recalled that the former DA had told them that
report and directed that the transcripts remain sealed in perpetuity. they would conduct an "autopsy" on the crisis. That assessment
A short time later, the DA's Office discovered that transcripts ofthe was never done. One deputy district attorney recalled that he
CRASH crisis grand jury testimony were missing. The tmnscripts began drafting a summary of the DA's Rampart response, but was
subsequently reappeared, bur their disappearance was never satis- told to stop writing. "I guess everyone thought it was too politically
factorilyexplained. divisive," the prosecutor recalled.

TIle civil grand jury itself disintegrated into dysfunction.


Apparently, unrelated to the Rampart matter, two of the civil grand Federal Investigative and Prosecutorial
jurors were charged with criminal law violations untelated to their Agencies
service on the grand jury, but arising from their personal relationsh ips
while members of the grand jury. This diversion added to the Conclusion 11.13.
confusion and confidence in the grand jury process. The U.S. AffonJey's Office ill Los Angeles Has Historically
Approached Police Misconduct Cases as Isolated Cases that Can Be
The public will never learn the insights shared by the wItnesses Addressed with TraditionallnfJestigative and Prosect/torial M ensures
who appeared before the grand jury.
Generally, the U.S. Attorney's Office does not view their mandate
Conclusion 11.12. as proactive intervention for prevention of local police misconduct.
The DA's Office Did Not Conduct any Detailed Assessment Criminal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central
of its Response to the CRASH Corruption Scalldal District of California acknowledged that they focus on bringing
individual criminal cases of police misconduct. They do not pursue
The DA's Office did not conduct any derailed assessment of its cases ag'.Iinst police departments unless those departments are
response to the Rampart scandal. No one convened the prosecu- found to have conspired with the individual police officer to
tors who worked on the Special Prosecution Team or the Ad Hoc comm it criminal miscond uct. Thus, prosecutors would not address
Rampart Task Force to discuss lessons learned. Members of the a police department's "lack of oversight," even if it enabled the
Special Prosecution Team recalled feeling that they were not able officer to commit criminal misconduct.
to share the insights they gained with the Ad Hoc Rampart Task
Force or the rest of the office. Prosecutors in the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney's Office observed that
the Civil Rights Division of DO] Washington generally handles
At the time it released the Rampart declination memoranda, the systemic problems in law enforcement agencies. Thus, the U.S.
DA's Office issued a five-page document with attachments titled Attorney's Office in Los Angeles docs not conduct any regular
"Rampart Review." TIle Rampart Review briefly summarized the monitoring of police departments in Los Angeles County. For the
DA's work in connection with Rampart and summarized the reasons most part, they do not assist DO] Washington in their police
for declining to prosecute the eighty-two Rampart cases. However, misconduct monitoring efforts.
the DA's Office did not issue any detailed after-action report
assessing its response to the CRASH crisis. Members of the Special
Running Page #86

Conclusion 11.14. Nevertheless, given their relative independence from the LAPD,
The U.s. Attorney's Office Did Not Devise a Coordinated their resources and their experience using investigative techniques
Alulti-Agency Stratfgy to Address the CRASH Crisis such as the grand jury, the U.S. Attorney's Office cou ld have devel-
oped and proposed an effective overall strategy for coordinating
The U.S.Anomey's Office criminally prosecuted Rampart officers with the DA's Office and other agencies in investig'.Iting and prose-
Rafael Perez and Nino Durden, and they eventually coordinated cuting the CRASH crisis.
with the DA's Office in the prosecutions of several other officers.
However, the U.S. Anomey's Office did not devise or implement Conclusion 11.15.
a coordinated, multi-agency strategy to address the CRASH crisis. ItJitially, the Los A!lgeles U.s. Attorney's Office Did !lot Effectroely
Communicate or Coordinate with the Los Angeles County DA's Office
Members of the U.S. Anorney's Office in Los Angeles identified
several challenges they faced when becoming involved in the As noted above, the U.S. Attorney's Office faced several challenges
CRASH case. First, the DA's Office did not give the U.S. when they became involved in the CRASH crisis, including the
Anorney's Office any advance notice of Rafael Perez or his disclo- perceived resistance by the DA's Office toward their involvement.
sures of criminal misconduct. Indeed, members of the U.S. However, once federal prosecutors did become involved, they
Anorney's Office recalled learning of the "Rampart scandal" apparently did not communicate effectively with members of the
when it was publicly reported. Thus, the U.S. Anomey's Office DA's Office.
was not involved in any of the initial decisions regarding how to
investigate or interrogate Perez or other officers suspected of Members of the Los Angeles U.S. Anorney's Office recalled that
misconduct. they strove to maintain independence from the DA's Office.
However, several members of the DA's Office recalled feeling
Members ofthe U.S.Anomey's Office recalled meeting resistance that the U.S. Anorney's Office was not supporting their state pros-
from the DA's Office when they tried to get involved. According ecutions. ''They went off on their own tangent," one Deputy DA
to them, representatives of the DA's Office did not express any recalled. "It was at cross-purposes [with our work]." Several pros-
willingness to allow the U.S. Anorney's Office to direct the inves- ecutors recalled feeling frustrated when the U.S. Anorney's Office
tigation and initially resisted the U.S. Anorney's Office's efforts to and the F.B.I. began pursuing the allegations of Sonya Flores-
get involved in any way. who claimed that she witnessed Rafael Perez and David Mack kill
two people and bury their bodies. Flores subsequently recanted
When the U.S. Anomey's Office did become involved in the crim- her allegations, and the U.S. Anorney's Office prosecuted her for
inal prosecutions, they had to spend significant effort vening the making false statements to federal authorities.''''' However, in the
information they received from LAPD to ensure that it was not fall of 2000, as the DA's Office prepared for trial against four
tainted with information gained from compelled statements given Rampart officers, the U.S. Attorney's Office actively pursued
in the course of administrative investigations."" This vening Flores' investigations. Members of the DA's Office recalled
process caused a significant delay in prosecutors receiving infor- feeling frustrated that the U.S. Anomey's Office would not share
mation for their investigations and prosecutions. any information regarding the Flores investigation, even as the
DA's Office was deciding whether to call Perez as a witness in the
Running Page #87
76 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • • ~ . . . . .

criminal trial. In fact, as the State's criminal trial began, the press attorneys believe the City [ have worked in [one division]
published stories of Mexican authorities digging for bodies in Attorney's Office has no
for 8years-before and after Rampart
Tijuana in connection with the U.S. Attorney's Office Flores system. "\Ve took an informal
investigation. "It was not helping us at all," one DA recalled. survey whether city prosecu- I've seen no change. It's the same
"What caused them to go off like that, I don't know. We never did tors were sending Brody officers again and again. There are
hear from them." letters [disclosing the exis- certain judges where DA's won't put
tence of exculpatory mate-
certain officers up before the judge;
By all accounts, the relationship between the DA's Office and the rial]," one Deputy Public
U.S. Anorney's Office improved dramatically in early 2001 when the Defender noted. "We didn't
iliey always put up the partner. The
new DA took over and assigned a new "Ad Hoc Rampart Task find a single one sent since D~s know. the judges know... IN]oiliing
Force" to handle the Rampart investigations. Following that transi- Rampart. They're not even has changed.
tion, the DA's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office worked closely looking." As a result, defense
in the prosecution of Perez' former partner Nino Durden and counsel report they must
several other former Rampart Officers. However, the failure to resort to filing Pitchess
effectively communicate earlier in the investig'.Ition may have motions.'Ol They complain that the City Attorney's Office fights
hampered both the U.S. Anorney's and the DA's investigative efforts every Pitchess motion- even those that are clearly meritorious.
and damaged relations between the two prosecurorial offices.
Even when Pitchess motions are granred, defense attorneys report,
the City Anorney often fails to nun over responsive materials. "I
The Criminal Justice System Today was told by a [Deputy] City Attorney that they are perfect - they
do not make any mistakes, and the custodian of records always finds
Conclusion 11.16. everything responsive and turns it over," a Deputy Public
A Sig/Jijicollt Gop Exists belfJI'u/J how Crimi/wI Dejt1Jse Allomey Defender stated. "Bur when particular cases come up, they admit.
and Prosect/tors Perceive the Los Angeles Criminal System Working 'Oh we missed that.''' These failures are often the result of LAPD
failing to turn over materials to the City Attorney's Office. For
Criminal defense lawyers---even those who acknowledge that example, defense counsel reported that LAPD withholds informa-
LAPD has improved in specific areas-unanimously report that tion on criminal investigations of officers because they are deemed
since the Rampart scandal, the integrity of investigations and confidential "personnel" mate-
compliance with the duty to turn over exculpatory evidence in their rial. Moreover, when LAPD and
cases has not improved. Public defenders reported routinely We are worse off than we were the City Attorney do turn over
confronting serious problems with erroneous arrests, inability to get four years ago because there was a Pitchess material it is often totally
evidence necessary to do their jobs, and alarmingly flawed investi- Brady frenzy after Rampart. Then. disorganized and unreadable. A
gations. defense attorney recalled that
when they thought they were done,
one judge got angry at her for
The City Attorney maintains they have an effective system in place we get nothing. filing a successful motion
for identifying and turning over Brody material.'o' Yet, defense lIejUy P~ic lIefe'Dn because she did not have time to
Running Page #88

review the box of disorganized documents. "I told [the judge] that Plaintiffs' counsel, with the exception of those who specialize in
she could order LAPD to bates stamp the materials," the defense LAPD dog bite litigation,'"' echo these concerns and report that
attorney recalled. "She said, 'I can't tell the department to do complaints of callous mistreatment, harassment and civil rights
that.' ... The hearing on the case kept getting delayed because the violations by LAPD have not diminished since the scandal.
judge hadn't reviewed the materials." Eventually, the case got reas-
signed out of that judge's couttroom for trial and the defense Prosecutors unanimously reject these contentions and report that the
attorney had to make the motion all over again. systems that ensure disclosure of exculpatory material and prevent
conviction of the innocent work well.
These defense attorneys voice similar complaints about unwilling-
ness on the part of the DA's Office to turn over exculpatory material. The different roles of prosecutors on the one hand and counsel for
For example, they note that even when officers are found guilty in defendants, plaintiffs on the other are expected to produce
administrative Boards of Rights different views of the criminal justice and civil systems. But the
As long as lAPD cunsiders itse~ for making false statements or gap in perspectives on the integrity of these systems was too large
false statements, the DA does to ignore. There is a canyon, with one side of the bar believing that
insular. not responsible to anyone. not disclose this information as serious problems that undermine the integrity of criminal justice
this will continue ... Unless we have Brody material. remain. This gap requires analysis and response.
some special insight to figure out
where evidence is hidden. we are Most of all, defense counsel Conclusion 11.17.
express fmstration that nobody The DA 's Establishment of a Brady Compliance Division and
none the wiser. [There will hel pursues incidences of suspected Database, While Commelldable, Would not Identify Much ofthe
Innocents pleading guilty. tainted officer perjury or misconduct. Misconduct at Issue in the CRASH Crisis
evidence. false confessions. false One deputy public defender
testimony by officers. They are claimed that the DA's office Partly in response to the CRASH crisis, in September 2001, the DA
replaced a well-respected, established a Brody Compliance Division and Brady Darabase.
counting on judges and DA's to look
experienced prosecutor on a TIle Brody Compliance Division works to assist in the gathering,
the other way. case because she refused to reviewing and distribution of Brody material. However, as
prosecute based on concerns members of the DA's Office explained to the Panel, only substanti-
with the officer's credibility. ated acts defined by case law as acts of "moral turpitude" would
When the public defender raised concerns about the officer's cred- constitute Brody material subject to disclosure. If a court has not
ibility to the Deputy DA in charge, he dismissed the idea that offi- expressly categorized a parricu lar act as an act of "moral turpitude,"
cers ever lie on the stand. "I know you'll bring up Perez-your it would not be deemed Brody material subject to entry into the
favorite," the DA reportedly stated, "But he 'VJS only one guy." Database. TIl us, broad categories of police misconduct, including
Another defense attorney sta ted, "I t is the same officers [who ca use excessive force, would not be included. Members of the DA's
problems] ... I'll go to trial and show the officer's [arrest] report was Office acknowledged that Rafael Perez' narcotics crimes, excluding
false. The DA doesn't care, the judge doesn't care. And even the drug theft, would probably not be included in the Brody
cops - they just say, 'Boy, [the defense attorney] is a good lawyer.''' Darabase.'"'"
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78 ......part ""'""",'da_ "..~ A • • • • ~ . . . . .

Moreover, some observed that the DA strictly construes what conduct its own investigation of alleged misconduct within the
constiunes "substantiated" misconduct. One public defender department.
recalled that the DA's Brady Database did not include information
on an LAPD officer who had had more than one case dismissed The United States Attorney's Office and the Department of justice
because of his false testimony. Specifically, the LAPD officer had continue to defer to state prosecutorial officials to be the frontline
claimed on more than one occasion that defendants were found in combating police misconduct. Federal authorities remain reac-
with drugs in their mouths, which had been disproven by DNA tive only to problems that may arise in the LAPD and do not
testing of the drugs. TIle public defender claimed that although engage in ongoing monitoring of police practices. TIle Panel
the DA's Office had considered (and rejected) filing charges against believes that, due to their unique resources and expertise, federal
the officer on four different occasions for planting drugs, the DA prosecutors and law enforcement agencies could do more to assist
maintained the officer's misconduct was not "substantiated" and in the investigation and prosecution of police misconduct cases.
therefore not Brady material subject to entry in the database. Moreover, there still appears to be little cooperation between
federal and state prosecutors in investigating and prosecuting
Conclusion 11.18. police misconduct cases.
Institutions of The Los Angeles Criminal Justice System Do Not H(J'{)e
Sufjicimtly Robust Checks fl1ld 11Iferomtio11s 011 Police Perjury mId
Misconduct Recommendations For Other Prosecutorial
Agencies For Prevention Of And Response To
The Rampart CRASH scandal revealed the criminal justice The Next Large-Scale Corruption Crisis
system's failure to prevent the conviction of innocent people.
Every institution failed to take a proactive stance in preventing and Recommendation 11.1.
prosecuting police misconduct and perjury that leads to such Conduct an Analysis of thelntfgrity of the Los Angeles County
wrongful convictions. Crimilwl Justice System

Years after the scandal, virtually nothing has changed. TIle Office An independent body should be appointed to conduct an analysis
of the District Attorney and the Office of the United States of the integrity of the Los Angeles County criminal justice system.
Attorney continue to view police misconduct cases as isolated, Recently; the Sall Jose Mercury News published a series of articles
historical cases that can be addressed with traditional investigative disclosing problems in the Santa Clara County criminal justice
and prosecutorial measures. system. The News' findings, based primarily on a comprehensive
three-year review of criminal jury trials where appeals were filed,
The DA's Office establishment of JSID is a significant improve- uncovered numerous instances of innocent persons pleading guilty
ment in the office's capacity to investigate and prosecute police or being convicted by a jury due to questionable prosecutorial
misconduct. However, the DA's Office does not conduct continual tactics, judges' errors and defense counsel failures.
monitoring or independent investigations to uncover police
misconduct. Moreover, the small staff of JSID investigators in the While most leaders in Los Angeles County's criminal justice system
DA's Office must routinely rely on each police department to acknowledge that some problems exist, no one understands the
Running Page #90

true natute or extent of these problems. In 2003, the Los Angeles Prosecutors in the District Attorney's Office, the City Attorney's
County Bar Association Task Force on the State Criminal Justice Office and the U.S.Anorney's Office also should be required to file
issued the Collins Report, which includes important recommen- regular reports with their superiors and LAPD reg'.Irding police
dations for improving the criminal justice system to prevent perjury and misconduct. These prosecutorial offices should main-
wrongful convictions. However, it does not undertake any assess- rain records of citizen complaints and judicial allegations of perjury
ment of the breadth of problems in the system. TIle California or misconduct against individual officers and create a database of
Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice is conducting a officers against whom complaints or allegations have been made.
statewide assessment of the administration of the criminal justice TIle u.s. Attorney's Office should conduct periodic reviews of this
system.'os However, its focus is statewide and primarily based on database to identify potential police misconduct cases.
cases where a wrongful conviction had already been established
(i.e., there was an official act, such as a pardon or dismissal, Recommendation 11.3.
declaring a defendant not guilty of a crime for which he had previ- Proserotoria! Agmcies Should Improve Inter-Agmcy Coordination
ously been convicted).
The federal and local prosecutorial agencies must develop bener
The Panel proposes a more detailed assessment of criminal cases ways to coordinate investigation and prosecution of officer perjury
in Los Angeles County, similar to the study undertaken in Santa and misconduct, including the use of state and federal gmnd juries.
Clara County. An independent body of criminal justice experts For example, the District Attorney's Office must cooperate in
should be convened to conduct this assessment. proper requests by federal authorities for information regarding
police cormption cases. Likewise, federal authorities must not take
Recommendation 11.2. investigative steps that intentionally or inadvertently impair inves-
Proserotors Should Develop More Robust Checks and Interoentiom on tigations and prosecutions by the District Anorney's Office.
Police Petjury and Misconduct
Recommendation 11.4.
Prosecutors must be proactive, not reactive, in their approach to A Standing Task Force Should Be Created with Federa! and Loca!
police corruption cases. For example, prosecutorial agencies Authorities to Coon/inate Itroestigation of Police Corruption Cases
should engage in continual monitoring for police corruption.
Federal and local authorities should convene a standing task force
The DA's JSID should publish periodic reports generally to coordinate investigation of police corruption cases. Most prose-
describing the police corruption cases it is prosecuting and inves- cutors the Panel interviewed did not express support for pre-set
tigating. Such reports could assist prosecutorial agencies and protocols dictating how agencies should coordinate in police
other stakeholders in assessing whether seemingly small or corruption cases. Most agreed, however, that interagency coordina-
isolated acts of police misconduct could constitute a more serious tion and communication could be improved. A standing task force
problem-a "tsunami network" of corruption. Several officers of federal, county and city prosecutors and investigators would
interviewed have warned the Panel of emerging problems in high enable agencies to effectively communicate and develop plans for
crime divisions, but prosecutors have no information on these coordinating police corruption investigations and prosecutions on a
matters. case-by-case basis.
80 ......part....,"""',da_"..~.o ... .....
~
Running Page #91

Recommendation 11.5. on DO] Washington. 1lle local U.S. Attorney's Office should be
Prosect/tonal Agencies Should Improve Training/or Handling Police able to respond to police misconduct cases as quickly as possible in
Corruption Cases any manner it deems appropriate.

As discussed above, many of the Deputy DAs working on the


Rampart CRASH prosecutions found themselves unprepared for Recommendation 11.7.
the unique challenges attendant to prosecuting police officers. The The LAPD and the City Attorney's Office Should Improve In/ormation
District Attorney's Office should develop a protocol for Investi- Disclosure Processes
gating and prosecuting large-scale police corruption cases.
In order to address the concerns about Brady and Pitc!uss motions
Moreover, the District Attorney's Office should improve its training discussed above, the LAPD and City Attorney's Office should
for handling police corruption cases. All members of the District expedite the release of materials ordered disclosed by the court and
Attorney's Office should receive training regarding the unique chal- ensure that they are produced in a complete and organized manner.
lenges of investigating and prosecuting law enforcement officers. Moreover, LAPD must provide adequate and confidential access to
This training should include case stud ies and presentations by pros- its files for Deputy District Attorneys and their investigators.
ecutors who have handled police corruption cases, including those
who handled the Rampart CRASH criminal cases. The training
should also include discussion of how to effectively use the grand
jut)' in investigating suspected officer perj ut)' and other misconduct.
In addition, the training should address the unique LybargerlCarrity
problems that arise in police misconduct cases. Moreover, the DA's
Office should develop protocols for taking pleas and granting immu-
nity for testimony that may implicate federal offenses.

Federal prosecutors and investigators should receive ongomg


training on the operations of the LAPD so they can respond quickly
to allegations of police misconduct.

Recommendation 11.6.
Federal Prosect/tors Should Be Prepared to Handle Local Police
MisC01Jduct Cases without BeiNg Overly Reli(J1Jt ON DOl WashiNgtoN

The U. S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles should be alert and be


prepared to handle police misconduct cases involving LAPD or
other local law enforcement agencies without being overly reliant
Running Page #92
......part ...,...... da_ ... ~ .. o • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Actions
And Solutions
This section of the report is blank because while this Panel can
point out missed issues, st3te findings ~md suggest recommend;:t-
tions, it cannot draft proposals to change LAPD systems that will be
accepted by the rank and file and
department leadership. Those changes
must be co-developed with LAP D's Iwanted to come back into policing. particularly in
leaders ~md officers who underst;:md the a large city. to show that police do count. Secondly.
direction that the department must
however. was the missed opportunity of New York City.
move to chart its best future.
where we got crime down so dramatically. we showed
TIle Pand has recommended that the that with the right amount of police. policing in an
Police Commission direct the Chief of appropriate fashion. you could not only reduce crime, but
Police to immediately appoint and you could improve relations, particularly with the minor-
charge an Action Taskforce of LAPD
ity community, at the same time... You can have it both
change agents who already are forging
significant changes in LAPD opera- and at the same time. And I desperately want to be able
tions and culture, leaders of the rank to prove that concept. Because we have been the flash
and file and outside experts to co-draft point we the police, for most of the racial violence in
with the Panel the blueprint that
the past century. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were in
addresses the issues outlined in this
report. That blueprint will become the fact ~e catalyst for ~e healing?
action agenda and text for this section CIiII Wili.. J. B.-mn,P1i1r.a.Il••.,:!APO
(All: ilnisin Br.ICllt, J•• 1. ZlIl4)
and the final cha pter of Chief Bratton's
Plan oj Actionjor the Los Angeles That Is
and the Los Angeles That Could Be. Then the work that will check
corruption, fix LAPD's longstanding problems and permanently
set a course toward the policing showcased in the Rampart trans-
formation can begin.
Running Page #93

gations for the Rampart Boards of Rights were rarely adequate even fot the limit-
Afternotes ed pu rpose of establishing proof of misconduct. And no investigation designs by
various Rampart investigation taskfooces were structured to capture complex.
multi-defendant police corruption conspiracies. Reports by outside groups were
1. The acronym of LAPD's disbanded anti-gang unit stood for Community too limited and without the capacity for the scale of in"estigation needed.
Resou rces Against Street Hoodlums. hereinafter in the report CRASH. In 19<;1'},
Rampart Area (also known as Rampart Division) and several other LAPD areas 10. A fotmer member of LAPD's highest command staff explained officer silence
had CRASH units. to the Panel as a persistent gap between what outside critics ,iew as misconduct
and what officers view as misconduct: "We are incorruptible in taking bribes.
2. Report of lIIe Rampart IIldepelldelll Rro;efI:l PO/uf, November 2(X)O at 1. For a But if my partner got an extra lick in. would I report that ot not? Probably a lot of
detailed description of the origins and context of the scandal. su lUport of rltt officers would ignore that. If my partner said there was a bit more probable cause
Romporlil/llepouli'lll &vinD Pond. pp. XX. than he has, I would probably let him write the report that way. A lot of officers
wouldn't see thatthOISe are two aspects of Cotru ption Taking money is bad. but
3. Sit VI/itd Statts v. City of Los Angtks, Civil No. DO-l17(:f) (Go. Cal. 2000). this is also. We ha"e got to get away from that. We have to let them know that
The Decree, which became efTecti\'e on June 15. 2001. serried a lawsuit li1ed in corruption is a two-sided coin. It's how you do it when no one is looking."
the wake of the Rampart CRASH scandal by the United States Department of
Justice against LAPD and the City of Los Angeles for engaging in a panern and 11. These reports.. discussed mote fully below. are: Tile Report oftlte Rampart
practice of unconstitutional misconduct. Independent ReLirlf) Pond; Board of Inquiry on tlte Rampart Area COf"f"Uption
IIscidel/t; AI/ II/depi'lldel/t AI/alysis oftM Los AI/gdes Police Departmmt's Board of
4. Los Angeles County Su pervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. quoted in An IndtfJmdtNl Il/1l1iry Report 01/ tile Rampart Scol/dal: and A Critical Al/alJsis of LeJJol/s Leartli'd:
Alia/pM oftile Los AI/gdes Police lHparlmel/'s Board of Il/1l1ifJ Report ol/!IIe Rampart R£comllll:ndotions for Imprm-ing!lle California Criminal Justice System in rite lVaie
&andol, September 2<XXl, published in 34 Loyola L.R. 545. 550. oftill' Rampart Scandal.

5. Sce David D. Dotson. "LAPD Cottuption; A Cultute ofWJt:' Los Angeles 12. The Police Commission appointed Constance L. Rice, Panel Chair. and
Times., February 27. 2<XXl. members Erwin Chemerinsky. Jan Handzlik. Steve r.lansfield. r.lautice Suh.
Andrea Ordin. EdgarTwine. Carol Sobel and Laurie Levenson. Erwin
6. Several officets pointed out this factot to the Panel with quotes similar to this Chemerinsky resigned from the Panel shortly after it became operational and
one: "When [cops] use fotce that is not necessary-because they devalue people-it became an ad,'isor. Andrea Ordin and r.lautice Suh became ad,isors after joining
doesn't mattet. It may not just be tace-may just be issues of a dtug dealet. gang- Mayor Villaraigosa's administration as a Police Commissioner and Deputy Mayot
banger. thief. murderer. In their minds. you are wotthless-devalued as a human for Homeland Security. respectively. Edgar Twine passed away in late 200s.
because 'you don't live up to my standards; you are a preying mantis'"
13. Los Angeles Police Commission Resolution. July 22. 2003. at p. 2. This
7. Letter from Chief William J. Bratton. introducing Plan ofAction for rite and other documents relating to the establishment of this Panel are included as
Los Angtlts Tlror Is and rite Los Angeks Tlta! Could Bt, October 24. 2004 AppendixA.
("Plan of Action"') at 2.
14. City Council Public Safety Committee Report 04-0053. adopted by City
8 Tltt BUll. Vol. Lli No.1 at p.6. Council on February 11. 2004. included in Appendix A.

9 Fot example. investigations conducted by the department and the Police 15. Three appointed members of this Panel participated in the drafting of the
Commission by definition wete not independent As discussed mote fully in Chemerinsky Report: Cot15tance Rice. Carol Sobel and Erwin Chemerinsky who
"The Road Behind"' section of this tepott a range of investigations conducted by resigned from the Panel in 2004.
the department in connection with the administrative revie",'S like the Board of
Inquity did not go much beyond papet and inten'iew audits. Disciplinary in"esti-
Running Page #94
......part...., da_ 83

16. Other public reports have been written in response to other LAPD crises. 20. Perez identified an offICer as being "in the loop" ifhe or she had been
Violma iN tlrt City-AN ENd or 0 BtgiNNiNg: 0 RtpOTt oftlrt G(JVf'rlfor's CommissioN involved in or privy to enough unlawful misconduct so the officer could be
of/llle LOJ Af/gdes R;ols (the "r.IcCone Report"'). published in December 1965 in trusted not to report another officer for misconduct. Su e.g., Transcripts of
the wake of the Watts riots, discussed the social and economic inequities that con- Perez Interrogations at 856-57
tributed to the riots and the need for improving LAPD's relationships with the
poor minoriry communities it polices. In July 1991. Tile If/deptf/d(fll Comm;uiof/ 21. Su Appendix C for a "Rampart CRASH Scandal Scorecard"' that summarizes
ON tlrt Los A Ngeks Polia DefJdrrmeNt (the "Christopher Commission "). chaired by basic facrs of the scandal and its aftermath.
Warren Christopher. issued a report recommending a seminal change in LAPD
policing from paramilitary policing to community policing in the wake of the 22. Su, e.g., Board of Inquiry at ff."} ("Separate roll calls from the patrol division. a
March 1991 Rodney King beating. The following year. a Commission appointed unique patch. jackets. an emphasis on narcotics enfort:ement. and an outward
by the Los Angeles Police Commission and chaired by \'"llliam Webster (the appearance of elitism were common CRASH traits that Rampart shared with
"Webster Commission") issued Tire City iN Crisis: A Report by tire Spaiol Advisor other CRASH and specialized units.")
to tilt Boord of Polia CommissioNtTs ON tilt Cif-~"I Dison/a iN Los ANgdts, which
explored the LAPD's response to the riots that followed the verdicts in the 23. Gang intervention workers reported that the transferred offICers whom they
Rodney King beating case. In May 1996. police reform expert r.lerrick Bobb. view as abusive still drop gang members into rival territory to endanger them and
along with r.lark Epstein. Nicolas r.liller and Manuel Abascal. authored Fiu Ytors stj]] try to prevent them from doing their work of retrieving young people from
wl,r: A Report 10 tile Los Af/gdes Polia Crmrm;ssiof/ Of/ lIIe Los Af/gr/es Police gang life. One interviewee. an intervention worker who had exited gang life
DeportmeNt's Impkmef/totiorr of INdepmdef/t CommissioN Rerommmdotions (the years ago and now worked for the City's largest gang prevention program. testi-
"Bobb Report"). which analyzed LAPD's progress in implementing the fied that one of the transferred offICers threatened to arrest him on trumped up
Christopher Commission reforms. A bibliography of past reports relating to charges if he set foot in the neighborhood again.
LAPD is included as Appendix E. A list of past reports' recommendations relat-
ing to LAPD and the criminal justice system is included as Appendix F. 24. On r.lay 12. 2006. LAPD relie,"ed a 16-year ,"eteran of duty after he allegedly
lied about dropped drugs by a suspect who was really an undert:over detective in
17. Su Scott Glover and Matt Lait. "LAPD SettlingAbuse Scandal." Los ANgdts a sting operation in Rampart Area. And in 2004. a sting operation resulted in
T;mt:l, Mart:h 31. 2005 (quoting the Los Angeles City Attorney as stating that "we criminal charges against another Rampart offICer for charging a woman money to
are thankful to put this chapter behind us"'). file a police report.

18. Drooyan Report at 2. Stf' Board of Inquiry at 62 (Rampart CRASH "routinely 25 Su, e.g., Christopher Commission Report at 74 ("Because of the concentration
made up its own rules and. for all intents and purposes. was left with little or no and visibility of gangs and street drug activities and the higher rates of violent
oversight"). and property ctime in LOIS Angeles' minority communities. the Department's
aggressive style - it's self described 'war on crime' - in some cases seems to
19. Rafael Perez' testimony about these crimes and misconduct make up thirry- become an attack on those communities at large"); Drooyan Report at 2;
five volumes and more than 4.000 pages. The credibility of this testimony. Chemerinsky Report at 570-71 (Discussing LAPD's insular "siege mentality").
obtained through interviews conducted by the Los Angeles District Attorney and
LAPD. beginning in September 1999 and lasting through much of2<XXl. was hotly 26. Sa, e.g., Domanick. Joe. To Proted oNd to SeTL"e: LAPD's CeNtury of Wor
contested within LAPD and among prosecutors. Howe,"er. it was found sufficient- ;f/III, City of DnomJ (1994) ("Domanick"). note 24 at 114.
ly credible to support the conditions of Perez' plea agreement which required that
Perez testify truthfully. Subsequent investigations by LAPD task forces of Perez'
allegations resulted in an assessment by one task force lieutenant that e,'idence
existed to corroborate 70-&)% of the misconduct incidents that Perez alleged.
Running Page #95

27. In 1968 former LAPD Chief William Parker warned white Angelinos. "It is 33. Sa, ,.&, D.l.irity. William Jr. and Samuel Myers. Jr.. PmisMnt Disparity, RN,
estimmed that by 1970. forty-five percent of... Los Angeles will be Negro. If you and E,onomic IMquality in rlu Unittd StdltS Sina /945 (1998) at 52 (Examining the
want any protection for your home...you 're going to have to get in and support a continuing gap in economic status between white Americans and African-Americans.
strong police department." Domanick at 185. Of Latinos, the Chief stated to the and noting that the "segment of the black population ...experiencing pelpetual
US Ci,il Rights Commission in 1959. "Some of these people have been here deprintion and poverty... now is identified with the urban 'underclass·").
since before we were. but some of them aren't fur removed from the wild tribes of
Mexico:' Domanick at 163. Su, also. Domanick at 31-33.

28. Domanick at 85. 35. Sa Tk Slo# of Blad Los Angr/(s, produced by Los Angeles Urban League
and United \Yay of Greater Los Angeles. July 2005 at 26 ("At nearly 14%, unem-
29. The factors of good and bad proliling are complex and ,'ary according to con- ployment for African-Americans is more than double the rate for Whites or Asians.
text. In the context of a low income. all minority. higher crime area. perceptions with Latinos between the two---a longstanding pattern in Los Angeles").
of class and perhaps even color caste resulted in a beneficial "driving while privi-
leged" profiling that the same dri\'er has experienced as the converse negati\'e 36. S". e.g., Erik Eckholm. "Plight Deepens for Black Men. Studies Warn:'
profiling when she is in a privileged. all white area like Beverly Hills. In both N_ Yorf Tim,s, March 20. 2006 ("In 2000. 65 percent of black male high school
places. to officers, she was not where she was supposed to be. dropouts in their 20's were jobless- thm is, unable to find work. not seeking it or
incarcerated. By 2004. the share had grown to 7Z percent"").
30. "If you had fewer than five thousand men to police over 450 square miles of
a city with a rapidly expanding population as was the case with the LAPD in the 37. S" TluSId/( ofBlad Los Angr/(s at 52.
early fifties. you needed ...a strategy and tactics to deal with it. Which Bill Parker
did. He took James Davis' stop-and-search and dragnet techniques, and ... Harry 38. The UCLA's Institute for Democracy. Education & Access and The UC All
Chandler's conception of a culturally limp. politically obedient cit): put it all Campus Consortiu m For Research on Di\'ersity reported that John C. Fremont
together. and gave it a name: 'proactive policing:"" Domanick at 110. High School has a graduation rate of less than 30%.

31. "Its underpinning was dominion. control The Grip. Walking a bear.. knowing 39. In 2004. Southeast experienced 7Z homicides---more than all of the murders
the residences of a neighborhood. using discretion in making artests, serving as a in North Dakota. Wyoming, New Hampshire. Delaware. South Dakota and
safety valve. as mediator. as a social-agency facilitator or problem solver was out Vermont See FBI Report "Crime in the United States 2004:' available m
Patrol cars with faceless occupants detached from the community: enforcing all www./bi.go••.
laws and keeping an intense twenty-four-hour sut\'eillance over an equally faceless
population---The Grip was in. Authority would be centralized. tasks defined. dis- 40. Jill Leovy and Doug Smith. "GeningAway with Murder in South LA's Killing
cretion limited. arrests---the numbers-emphasized. Never should an officer be Zone."" Los Angd(s Tim(s, January I. 2004.
out there waiting for a crime... to happen. Instead he should be seeking one out
or-and here was the key-stopping it before it happened." Domanick at III. 41. Plan of Adion. Book II m 6.

32. In June 2004. an officer struck Stanley Miller repeatedly with a flashlight fol- 42. S« Mitchell Landsberg, "Majority of L.A. 6th Graders See Violence:
lowing a chase in which r.liller was dri\ing a stolen car. In February 2005. follow- Los Angr/(s Tim(s, March 4. 2005 (noting that in some areas. as many of 90% of
ing another car chase. an officer shot and killed Devin Brown as the 13-year old all children have been subject to or witnessed violence; researchers determined
backed the pursued car into the officer's patrol car. In July 2005. SWAT officers thm about one-quarter of the children exposed to violence can be expected to
mistakenly shot 19-month-old Susie Pena when her father held her as a shield suITer from post-r:raumatic stress disorder or se"ere depression).
during a gun battle with police. The next month. Nation of Islam leader Tony
Muhammad incu rred injuries as a result of a scuffie with police that occu rred at a 43. S" Linle Hoover Commission. Bael to tlr( Community. Soft and Sound Parolr
community memorial ,igil. Policirs, November 13. 2003 at i.
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......part...., da_ 85

44. See, '.g., Dickey. Fred "Undermining American Workers: Los Ang,ks Ti""s 51. However capable its members. the Police Commission has long noted.
.Ilogtmillt, July ZOo Z003 at IZ. inherent limitations. Set, e.g., Drooyan Report at 15 ("Several factors undermine
the Police Commission's ability to exercise strong civilian oversight of the
45. See, '.g., Plan of ActiOl7. Book II at 3Z ("[T]he FBl"s Uniform Crime Reports Department. Commissioners all serve part-time and are unable to bring their
data suggests a strong positj,'e correlation between unemployment le"els and full attention to bear on the work of the Commission. Further. the Commission
both violent crime and property crime. Another study shows that... 'a sustained has no authority over discipline in cases that impact the community; it continues
long-term decrease in crime rates will depend on whether the wages of less to be distracted by functions that have nothing to do with managing the
skilled men continue to improve'") (citations remoYed). Department and it continues to be understaffed"). While the Christopher
Commission's observation that "[i]n practice. the Police Commission's authority
46. Drooyan Report at 8. Set Board of Inquiry at 331 ("[H]ad the Department has proved jlJusory" (Christopher Commission Report at 187) overstates today's
and the Rampart management team exercised more vigorous and coordinated problems. this Panel concludes that a number of structural and operational
oversight of Area operations., and its CRASH unit in particular. the crimes and constraints still impede effective oversight. In ZOO4. LAPD was still submitting
misconduct that occurred may have been prevented. discouraged. or discovered to the Commission use of force analyses that omined key fucts., redacted incrimi-
much earlier"). nating interview segments and presented incomplete summaries of reports.
See Man Lait and Scon Glover. "Investigating Their Own:' Los An{J'ks Times,
47 As one LAPD lieutenant who spoke to the Panel put it. "It is hard to step up October 17. ZOO,t
to the plate. As a supervisor. to do your job and not get your superior's support
because you stepped on toes."' 5Z. See Drooyan Report at 48 ("To a troubling extent .. the culture ofLAPD
remains committed to 'top down management." rather than collaborati"e problem
48. S", e.g., Board of Inquiry at fF} ("Separate roll calls from the patrol division. solving"'). S" Chemerinsky Report, Section Ill, 34 Loyola L.R. at 559, for exten-
a unique patch. jackets., an emphasis on narcotics enforcement. and an outward sive historical analysis of LAPD culture.
appearance of elitism were common CRASH traits that Rampart shared with
other CRASH and specialized units"'). 53. See, e.g., Christopher Commission Report at 170 ("Officers who do give
evidence against their fellow officers are often ostracized and harassed, and in
49. Seyeral different Consent Decree pro'isions mandate improved super'ision. some instances themseh'es become the target of complaints "); Chemerinsky
For example. Paragraph 106 of the Decree includes criteria for selection of gang Report at 583-84 ("We spoke with several officers who related instances of
unit supeNisors and requires tightened management for gang units. And officers who revealed wrongdoing being subjected to reprisals from supeNisors
Paragraphs IZI-Z3 mandate imprO\'ed super'isory training. and the Department"); Drooyan Report at 10Z ("Sometimes petty complaints
will be filed against officers who violate the code of silence and substantial
SO. In one complaint alleging officer perjury and planting of cocaine in the Department resources wjIJ be utilized to investigate the complaints, which are
late 1990s. the IG found that investigators had failed to document the officer's often kept open for lengthy periods"').
complaint history. misstated his complaint history by omining prior misconduct
and fuiled to explain why the superior cou n dismissed the underlying criminal 54. Set Scott Glover and r.lan Laic "New Light on a Distant Verdict: Los Ange~s
case on a writ of habeas corpus. S" DIG Fiscal Year 2005/2006 Complaint Timts, r.lay Zz. ZOOS. A U.S r.lagistrate Judge reviewing the defendant's claim
Investigations Audit at 14. of innocence recently concluded that he had "no confidence" in the guilry
"erdict rendered and that based on new e,idence, "no reasonable juror" would
likely convict the defendant today. See Scott Glover and Matt Lait, "Judge
Recommends Lisker's Claim Proceed: Los Angrks Timts, May 5, ZOO6.

55. S" Board of Inquiry at Z66 (noting that a U.s. Department of Justice report
titled .Ilist:oMucr fO Corruption. Avoiding flrt Impmding Crisis "found that compla-
cency breeds misconduct. misconduct leads to corruption, corruption becomes
corrosive. and corrosion becomes organizationally debilitating in its impact on
agency morale and pu blic trust").
Running Page #97

56. One veteran offICer recalled the days when numbers of Field Incident Cards 64. The chair of this Blue Ribbon Panel. along with her co-counsel Donald Cook.
were the standard for success: "When we first used FI cards---there was pressure Robert Mann. Paul Hoffman and Barry Litt.. was one of the attorneys who sued
on everybody to write ten or fifteen a night. We would write names from the the K-9 unit in the case. UJfi1Jon v. Ga/fJ, led by the Reverend James Lawson
phone book ... With numbers. people will find shortcuts." and the Reverend William S. Epps.

57. Su, e.g., Drooyan Report at Z; Board of Inquiry at 62-63 (noting "a clear 65. Drooyan Report at 32-34.
impression within Rampart that. because it was an extremely busy place to work.
officers and supervisors alike could circu m,'ent established Department rules and 66. Sit, e.g., "Report of the Independent r.lonitor for the Los Angeles Police
procedures"'). Department Report for the Quarter Ending December 31. 2004."' February 15.
2005 at 3 (''The very essence of the reforms envisioned by the Consent Decree is
58. White officers indirectly confirm such attitudes when describing the reality of the goal of enhancing public confidence in the LAPD. We belie"e that it is con-
how promotions happen. One officer with over twenty years on the force noted. sistent with the r.lonitor·s mandate to ensure. as best it can. that this goal is
"The way you get in a special unit is you go to South [Bureau] and grab all you achieved").
can-you gj,'e a ticket. anything. That is how you get into r.letro, Narcotics. Vice.
It is productivity driven-they don't care about the Supreme Court on a dark 67. Sa, e.g., "Report of the Independent r.lonitor for the Los Angeles Police
street. That is how we are driven: Department. Report for the Quarter Ending September 30. 2005: November IS.
z005.
59. Afmll:nto is a 2<XXl movie about a man who has lost all short-term memory.
68. "Plan to Change LAPD Consent Decree Rejected." Los Angrlts TimfJ, Matt:h
60. As one LAPD captain with over 25 years on the force put it: "For a recruit 22. 2006.
coming out of the Academy. the dynamic that training offICers feel is important
is aggression... We don't treasure things like community based policing or caring 69. In 2003. the former INS was abolished. The former INS immigration
what people are going through."- And another officer stated flatly. "we talk about services are now handled by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
community policing, but with Compstat. they don't recap community contact ("USCIS").
That is not enluated."
70. The Panel tried unsuccessfully to contact offICials in the Los Angeles offICe
61. In describing the breadth of fraterniZ3tion. a retired captain interviewed of the USCIS. No one outside USCIS knew whether USCIS had conducted any
noted: " [W]hen I had to discipline.. I found myself tempted to first ask. 'Do inquiry into Perez's allegations.
you have relatives on the job. are you sleeping with somebody. what is their
rank?' Because there was so much intertwining-you slap somebody in 77th 71. Again. Perez contended that his drug crimes were solely his doing and not a
and somebody at Southwest yells out:- part of LAPD culture.. but that the fabrication of probable cause.. shoddy investi-
gations. evidence enhancement. evidence planting, gratuitous brutality. framing
62. Sf( David D. Dotson. "A Culture of\Yar: Los Angeks Timts, February 27. 2<XXl. suspects. filing false reports. fixing internal in"estigations of misconduct. insubor-
dination and perjury were common in CRASH.
63. "Each time a state or federal court expanded citizens' rights and restricted
unconstitutional police practices. the attitude and focus of the LAPD under Bill 72. The Mollen Commission (directed by former judge Milton r.lollen) was
Parker and his successors would be not to find the best way to comply with the implemented in 1992 to examine and investigate corruption in New York City's
law. bur the best way to work around it: Domanick at 114. Police Department and make recommendations for reform. The Mollen
Commission Report is anilable on the Police Assessment Resoutt:e Center web-
site (www.patt:.info/index.html).
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73. District Attorney investigators responsible for supporting public corruption 80. Sa LyooT'fJ'r f). City of Los Al7geks, 40 Cal.3d 822 (1985)
prosecutions explained thmthey are too few in number 10 cover the dozens of
police forces in LA County. and thetefore must assume ~that police dep3ttments 81. On Maoch IS. 2tXXl. the California Attorney General issued a public statement
police themselves: Most District Attorneys interviewed had not read any of the calling the lAPD·s refusal to cooperate "unfortunate, counter-productive and
ptiot tepotts documenting widesptead ptoblems in LA policing culture, ftom the without legal authority..·
McCone Repott through the Chtistophet Commission Repott and the Dtooyan
Report. Most prosecutors. in stark contrast to public defenders and other lawyers 82. See December 2& 2000 Report of Inspector General 10 Police Commission re
inter'l'iewed. testified that they had been shocked that police would lie or plant CF No. 00-1736.
evidence.
83. Specifically, the Board of Inquiry states: "It was almost universally reported
74. Indeed. many members of the DA·s Office who spoke to the Panel expressed that bureau commanding officers had little or no input on the appointment and
complete shock at the kind of conduct Perez alleged. "We as prosecutors knew assignment of new command offICers during the tenure of Chief Willie Williams.
probable cause is fudged on reports- we were not naIve about thm:· one prose- Bureau C/Os frequently expressed their concern about the proper mix of com-
cutor recalled. ~But planting e,'idence? We were offended; it shook my faith in mand staff. patticularly within Rampatt. But. their concerns and those of several
police depattments"· other high-nnking offICers were ignored:· Board of Inquiry at 75.

7S. Su Collins Repott at 2 (stating that reforming ~the toles of the prosecutor 84. Su, e.g., Board of Inquiry at 17. Stating that. ~[u]nder the current and new
and of the judiciary in better recognizing law enforcement and witness miscon- City Charters.. only the Personnel Department has the authority 10 disqualify
duct and providing greater accountability when that misconduct occurs. a police applicant." and maintaining that the depattment's ability to hire the
must be an integral p3tt of any realistic attempt to avoid future injustices in mOISt qualified candidates has ~mathematicallimitations·· due to hiring consent
our criminal justice system."). decrees. "If there are more than five candidates on a list who have negative
backgtound issues but ha'"e not been disqualified by the Personnel Department.
76. Although the City Controller conducted an audit of the Ptopetty Division in the Police Dep3ttment has two options: Non-select the five worst candidates
1998. it did not focus on safeguards against LAPD officers jlJegally checking out and hire the remaining questionable candidmes 10 fill the Academy class., which
naocotics; none of the audit's recommendations would ha"e pre,·ented Rafael basically amounts 10 hiring the least unacceptable candidates., or reduce the class
Perez ftom checking out the cocaine in the manner in which he did. size so that no unacceptable candidate is appointed:

77. The plea agreement granted Perez immunity for uncharged crimes that 85. In late 2001. the department began supplementing its in'"estigators with
he truthfully admitted. "based upon ... representations that he has not been experienced civilian staff. and in July 2004. the City·s Personnel Department took
involved in any ctiminal use-of-force activity which has resulted in the death over the background investigmion function Now. all background investigations
of one person. but has been involved in one incident involving a potentially are conducted by experienced civilian investigators.
unlawful shooting of a criminal suspect [Ovando] ..·
86. The relerant excerpt of the Personnel Department's public report to the
78. Transcripts of Perez Interrogations at 49-50. Board of Civil Service Commissioners that disputes the Board of Inquiry's find-
ings is included in Appendix D of this report.
79. Specifically. Section 202(4) of the previous City Charter provided in relennt
p3tt: ~No tenured officer of the Dep3rtment shall be discharged. suspended. 87. The Personnel Department selected these three years because officers
demoted in rank. or suspended and demoted in rank for any conduct that (a) was involved in the CRASH crisis were hired in each of these years. and they were
disco'l'ered by the Depattment and btought to the attention of the Chief of Police rears where LAPD hiring rates were particularly high or low. 1989-90 and 1996-
more than one year prior to the filing of the complaint against the officer [by the 97 were both years of heavy hiring. with 768 and 1258 officers hired respectively.
Chief of Police].·· Los Angeles voters approved amendments 10 the Chatter in 1992-93 was a year of low hiring, with 143 officers hired.
2000. Among other things. the amended City Charter remo'l'es this one-year limi-
tations period for administrative charges.
Running Page #99

88. Scon Glover and Man Lair.. "Rampart Report Is a Year Overdue.·· Los A17geks 96. $ee discussion of compelled statements and Lybarger tl. City of Los A17#ks.
Timts, March 30. 2002. As the transcripts of the Perez interrogarions reveal. many administrarive
investigators intertogated Perez and presumably used information derived from
89. Los Angeles Police Commission Resolution. July 22. 2003. at 2. Obviously. it administratively compelled statements.
was understood that an outside panel formed almost four years after the scandal
broke could not account for the "exact nature and disposition of each allegation" 97. The District Artomey's Office expended significant efforts artempting to
of police corruption. as the department had initially promised. compile information concerning the number and results of Rampart related
writs filed. They acknowledge, however. that to date they ha"e not been able
90. The Panel was unable to obtain copies of these draft after-action reports. to compile a complete list. Initially. Rampart related writs were handled by a sub-
group of the Special Prosecution Team specifically formed for Rampart. After
91. Of the eighty-six Boards of Rights relating to the CRASH crisis that the the Special Prosecution Team disbanded. the writs were transferred to the DA's
Panel identified. fifty-four of the Boards resulted in officers being found not HABLIT division. Although the DA's Office had assigned a person to keep track
guilty on all counts. Only nineteen of the Boards resulted in officers being of the Rampart rel31ed writs. the person assigned 10 th31 task left the Office.
found guilty on all counts. Tweh'e of the Boards resulted in offICers being These changes in the dj,'isions and personnel responsible for the Rampart related
found guilty on some counts and not guilty on other counts. The verdict for writs have thus far prevented the DA's OffICe ftom compiling a complete list of
one Boord was unobtainable. Rampart writ informarion.

92. Although the Professional Standards Bureau maintains that such legal 98. r.lan Lait and Scon Glover. "LAPD Probe Fades Into Oblivion," Los A17geks
arguments should not be considered by Boards of Rights. the Panel witnessed Times, August 11. 2003.
instances where these issues were considered by the Board.
99. $ee Garrity tl. NNI) Jersey, 382 U.s. 493 (1967) (prohibiting the use of adminis-
93. A judge subsequently o"erturned the guilty '·erdict. based primarily on her tratj,'elycornpelled statements in a subsequent criminal proceeding).
finding that she had given erroneous jury instructions.
100. Flores pled gu ilty; in February 2001. she was sentenced 10 fourteen months
94. Although a separate Board of Rights subsequently found the offICer guilty of in federal prison.
other misconduct and recommended his termination. this initial Board should not
be ignored. 101. Bmily material consists of exculp310ry or impeaching information m31erial
to the guilt or innocence ofa criminal defendant. Brady,'. r.lar)'Jand. 373 U.S. 83
95. In fact, some officers expressed their opinion 10 the Panel that the goal of the (1963), established that a prosecutor has a duty 10 tum over any such information
department's criminal and administrative investig31ions and its Boord of Inquity 10 a criminal defendant.
was not to get to the bottom of the scandal. r.loreover. seven officer witnesses
who spoke anonymously 10 the Panel in 2004 expressed fear of retribution for 102. A Pildlt:ss motion. named after the California Supreme Court case Pildress tl.
talking about the CRASH scandal. Two expressed fear of physical harm for $uprrior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531. is a request made by a criminal defendant for
talking, and one reported receiving in ZOO4 a verbal warning from a previous access to information in the personnel file of an arresting police officer to support
supervisor "not to wake sleeping dogs" by speaking to this Panel. The Panel the defendant's claim of officer misconduct. (fhe Pitches.s process is now codified
concluded that the fears expressed appeared genuine. the testimony credible in California Evidence Code sections 1043-47.)
as evidence of their current states of mind and of what they believed happened
in the wake of the scandal. However. the absence of corroborating evidence 103. The transformarion of LAPD's K-9 division is discussed in The Road Ahead.
precluded using their information as a basis for findings or conclusions.
Running Page #100

104. They explained that in instances where Perez admined to committing


perjury regarding thOISe drug offenses., those instances would be in the Brody
database. However. narcotia; offenses that did not implicate theft or perjury or
some other act of "moral turpitude" would not be included.

105. The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice. which was
created by the California Senate in 2004. has been charged with: reviewing the
ad ministration of criminal justice in California and determining the extent to
which that process has failed in the past. resulting in wrongful executions or the
wrongful convictions; examining ways of providing safeguards to prevent the
conviction of the innocent; and making recommendations for improling the fair
administration of criminal justice in California. The Commission has stated that
it wj]] make recommendations regarding witness misidentification; false confes-
sions; use of jailhouse informants; incompetence of defense counsel: prosecutorial
misconduct; problems with scientifIC evidence; and the fair administration of the
death penalry.
Running Page #101