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LAPD to exempt officers from discipline

LAPD to exempt officers from discipline

All-civilian discipline panels are more lenient with LAPD officers, report finds; LAPD, city disagree on discipline for officers

The City Council is set to weigh a proposed ordinance that would exempt LAPD police officers from the most severe punitive measures for misconduct under the department’s disciplinary system.

The measure, which Mayor Eric Garcetti has been lobbying for as a way to improve relations between Los Angeles and the federal government in a fight over the department’s controversial stop and frisk policy, would also permit police officers to be charged with crimes on their first appearance before civilian prosecutors for the same conduct.


The legislation, which the Council is likely to approve Tuesday, would give the mayor the ability to appoint civilians — rather than the LAPD’s chief of police — to conduct civilian criminal and disciplinary proceedings.

“It’s time to take a step back and see if we can get into a new relationship with the federal government,” Garcetti recently told The Los Angeles Business Journal, an industry publication.

The council has not yet taken up the measure, with a committee studying the proposal this afternoon.

The move to exempt officers from discipline could have implications for a debate over whether or not the LAPD is in compliance with the Department of Justice’s guidance on policing.

LAPD officers have long been allowed to be charged and indicted on their first appearance before a disciplinary board and prosecuted by the city’s District Attorney.

But Garcetti’s proposed ordinance, which would be retroactive, would limit such prosecutions to officers who are convicted of a felony, have prior sex crimes on their record and have been found guilty by an appeals court or the courts, police officials say. The ordinance would also require civilian prosecutors to be qualified in the discipline of the police department.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have pushed for such changes to the system, but the LAPD has resisted calls for reform.

The ordinance, which has yet to be drafted, has been opposed by the department’s rank-and-file and the Police Commission.

While the measure is “a good first step,” it will “not do anything to address the culture and behavior that has driven the problems, nor will it change the way

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