Los Angeles police investigators routinely fail to investigate citizens’ complaints against allegedly abusive officers fully, often omitting or altering crucial information in ways that help exonerate the officers, said a Police Commission inspector general’s report cited by the Los Angeles Times. The report raises questions about the department’s ability to police itself.
The audit examined how 60 complaints filed against officers in recent years were handled by the officers’ supervisors and investigators in the department’s internal affairs group. In 29 cases — nearly half of the time — it found some sort of flaw, including investigators who inaccurately recorded statements and failed to interview witnesses or identify accused officers. In some cases, investigators failed to address allegations of misconduct at all. “We are always concerned about the quality of our investigations,” said Deputy Chief Mark Perez, head of internal affairs. “We take these findings very seriously.”