LAPD FALSIFYING ARREST RECORDS

LAPD FALSIFYING ARREST RECORDS

 The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office is reviewing hundreds of criminal cases,

After criminal charges were filed against three LAPD officers accused of falsifying records about gang affiliation.

Braxton Shaw, 37, Michael Coblentz, 43, and Nicolas Martinez, 36, were charged in July,

With one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice,

And multiple counts of filing a false police report,

And preparing false documentary evidence.

The officers were assigned at the time to the LAPD’s Metropolitan Division,

When they allegedly falsified field interview cards and misidentified dozens of people,

People who were stopped by the officers as gang members.

Prosecutors say that some of the false information written in the cards was used to wrongfully enter people into California’s gang database.

The alleged misconduct would disrupt criminal cases against as many as 750 defendants, 

according to reporting by the L.A. Times that was confirmed by the D.A.’s office.

“There could be some cases out there where there are wrongful convictions,” said L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

“When you’re charged with a crime like that, where it’s alleged that you lied,

Your credibility becomes an issue and every case you ever touched in terms of a witness now has to be reviewed.”

Gang allegations allow prosecutors to seek harsher sentences against defendants,

If the jury finds the allegations to be true.

However, the basis for the criminal charges against some of the people arrested by the officers could be at stake,

Because their testimony and reports will likely hold little confidence at trial.

Past convictions may also be overturned,

If defense attorneys can argue that testimony given by any of the three officers was damaging to their case.

Lacey said that when charges were brought against the officers,

She asked the prosecutors to corroborate any information contained in field interview cards with other available evidence,

Such as body camera footage, to ensure the accuracy of the information.

Lacey said her office has sent letters to more than 750 defendants whose cases involved one or more of the charged officers.

The L.A. Times reviewed prosecutors’ records and found felony cases, including homicides,

Handled by the three charged officers dating back to 2002.

“They range from everything from the most minor drug cases to more serious cases, such as assault,” Lacey said.


 

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