LAPD Watchdog Faults Probes of Non-Lethal Police Encounters


The LAPD makes it impossible in most cases for the city’s police watchdog to evaluate the thoroughness of its investigations of use of force by officers, reports the Los Angeles Times. Alex Bustamante, the inspector general for the L.A. Police Commission, made that point in a report Tuesday examining how LAPD officials deal with incidents involving less serious uses of force by officers.

Fewer than 100 of the roughly 1,750 force incidents LAPD officers are involved in each year involve shootings or other types of deadly force. The other 95 percent are non-lethal encounters–body holds, punches, baton strikes and the firing of a Taser or bean-bag projectiles. By department policy, these less serious cases receive considerably less intensive reviews by regular field supervisors. As a result, Bustamante said, his office is unable to adequately assess the quality of the department’s investigations.

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