CITY TERRACE (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy has been returned to desk duty following a seventh deputy-involved shooting, according to authorities.
The most recent incident involving Deputy Anthony Forlano happened in East Los Angeles on Sept. 10. It was then that Forlano and his partner fatally shot a suspect, authorities said.
Officials said Forlano, an 18-year veteran, had been on desk duty for nearly two years after his sixth shooting in October of 2011. He only recently returned to the field.
“Oh wow. How did this happen? We thought he was benched,” Michael Gennaco, the chief attorney for the county’s Office of Independent Review, said. “The sheer number of now-seven suggests that he is way outside the norm.”
Three of the incidents allegedly involved unarmed suspects. One shooting reportedly resulted in an out-of-court settlement for $150,000 and there remains one pending lawsuit.
Forlano has been cleared by the District Attorney of any wrongdoing in three of the seven shootings. The remaining four are under investigation. All seven incidents occurred within the past nine years.
Former LASD Undersheriff Paul Tanaka told CBS2’s Dave Lopez that he ordered Forlano out of the field in 2011. However, Gennaco contends that it was Tanaka who recently put Forlano back in the field.
“I did not order him back out in the field. I said that it would be okay as long as there was no objection,” Tanaka said, adding that Forlano’s captain told him there didn’t appear to be a problem.
Tanaka also said he didn’t inform Sheriff Lee Baca about the decision to put Forlano back in the field. When asked why he didn’t inform Baca, Tanaka stated, “18,000 employees. We make dozens of personnel decisions on a daily basis.”
But Gennaco says the protocol has to change.
“I don’t want ad hoc decisions. I don’t want decisions made on the fly,” Gennaco told Lopez.