Despite Vow Of Transparency, L.A. Police Board Hid Findings


The Los Angeles Police Commission has failed to publicly disclose its findings on at least 240 police shootings and other violent encounters with suspects, despite a promise four years ago to be more transparent and post its decisions on the Internet, reports the Los Angeles Times. Included in those cases are more than 20 incidents in which a person died while in police custody and at least 46 others in which police shot someone, according to the review. Among the unreported decisions are at least a dozen cases in which the commission ruled that the officer had improperly used deadly force and should be disciplined.

“Frankly, we fell asleep at the switch on this one,” said John Mack, president of the five-member civilian panel. “We know it’s something that we cannot continue to neglect.” Late in 2005, the commission instructed its watchdog arm, the Office of the Inspector General, to publish a report on every case in which an officer fires his weapon, strikes someone on the head or uses other types of serious force. The reports were to include a summary of the incident and the commission’s determination whether the officer’s actions were within department policies. The commission’s rhetoric, however, quickly gave way to something less impressive.

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