A Los Angeles Police Department captain has filed a lawsuit accusing high-ranking members of the force of misclassifying violent crime and misleading the public about the true state of lawbreaking in the city, the Los Angeles Times reports. Capt. Lillian Carranza, who oversees the Van Nuys station, alleged that she began notifying superiors in 2014 about the underreporting of crime in the Foothill area, but no action was taken. Aggravated assaults in 2016 were underreported by about 10 percent in two divisions, she said, charging that those cases were misclassified as less serious offenses.
Carranza says the police department “engaged in a highly complex and elaborate coverup in an attempt to hide the fact that command officers had been providing false crime figures to the public attempting to convince the public that crime was not significantly increasing.” More recent analysis of two other police divisions showed a 10 percent undercounting of aggravated assaults this year, she said. The department did not comment on Carranza’s allegations, but said that, “When errors are found, records are corrected and additional training and other corrective action is taken.” The department added that “any accusation related to the accuracy of our reports will be taken very seriously and investigated as a potential disciplinary matter.” Carranza said she was told by a supervisor that she would not receive a promotion to commander because she was “meddling into others’ business.” The allegations come after a 2014 Los Angeles Times investigation found that the LAPD misclassified nearly 1,200 violent crimes during a one-year span ending in September 2013. If recorded correctly, the figures for aggravated assaults in the year-long period would have been nearly 14 percent higher, the Times found.