Evidence of massive corruption within the LAPD’s Rampart division continues to mount, and over 30 officers have been relieved of duty. Former LAPD Officer Rafael Perez has testified that he and other officers routinely lied in court, stole and resold drugs, beat handcuffed suspects in the police station, killed unarmed people and then planted guns and drugs on them.
The US Department of Justice has announced that they will launch a civil-rights lawsuit against the LAPD for an ongoing “practice of constitutional violations through excessive force, false arrests, unreasonable searches and seizures, and ? management deficiencies.”
Hundreds of cases are being reviewed, and as of late May, more than 80 convictions had been overturned due to Perez’s evidence of police perjury or other illegal conduct. 15 civil damage suits have been filed, and many more are expected.
The Rampart-related cost to the city was pegged at over $11 million in May, but some estimates put the total bill, including lawsuit settlements, at over $1 billion, an amount which would bankrupt the municipality.
A LAPD Board of Inquiry Report explained that the anti-gang division “developed its own culture and operated as an entity unto itself.” Officers believed they were “waging a life-or-death struggle with the drug pushers.”
The LAPD anti-gang divisions are being disbanded, to be replaced with “special enforcement units.”