LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Union members filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department and Chief Charlie Beck over the department’s officer-discipline protocol.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) is seeking a federal court order to stop what it calls Beck’s “corrupt influence” over the LAPD Board of Rights, which is a three-person panel charged with deciding discipline cases for officers facing long-term suspension or termination.
In an interview with KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO, Beck denied any allegations of holding undue influence over the board, saying that more than half of BoR hearings have not followed his recommendations.
“In 26 of those 184 cases, the board found the officers not guilty, and in 67 of them, they found them guilty but then applied a penalty that’s less than firing,” he told KNX. “So in over half of the cases, they find different than I originally recommended. So if it’s a system that I’m corrupting, then I’m not doing a very good job of it.
“And I have to say…I find this a little personal,” he added.
The board consists of two LAPD command staff members and one independent civilian member, according to the City Charter.
According to union members, two senior officers on the board “owe their livelihood” to Beck.
“The lawsuit details Chief Beck’s command-staff exerting improper influence over police members of the BoR panel to uphold the chief’s recommended discipline decision,” LAPPL members said in a written statement.
Four LAPD captains who are not represented by the police union recently filed suits against the department “detailing the inappropriate influence from Chief Beck during the BoR process,” the statement continued.
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