Po­lice can’t ac­cess LAPD gang data­base records af­ter scan­dal

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS -

— The Cal­i­for­nia at­tor­ney gen­eral on Tues­day made it im­pos­si­ble for law en­force­ment agen­cies to ac­cess en­tries that Los An­ge­les po­lice made in the state’s gang data­base af­ter three LA of­fi­cers were charged with fal­si­fy­ing records.

The Los An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment’s records are roughly 25% of the data­base, which crit­ics have long said fos­ters racial pro­fil­ing. Known as CalGang, the data­base lists nearly 80,000 peo­ple — the ma­jor­ity of them peo­ple of color — sus­pected of be­ing ac­tive gang mem­bers or pos­si­ble as­so­ci­ates.

Ban­ning ac­cess to the LAPD’s en­tries comes amid a na­tional reck­on­ing into po­lice prac­tices and racial in­jus­tice.

Three mem­bers of the depart­ment’s Metropoli­tan Divi­sion were charged last week. Pros­e­cu­tors al­lege the of­fi­cers misiden­ti­fied dozens of peo­ple as gang mem­bers and some of the false in­for­ma­tion was used to en­ter in­di­vid­u­als into the data­base.

Get­ting re­moved from the data­base can be dif­fi­cult and take time. Ad­vo­cates say be­ing listed can be detri­men­tal to a per­son’s im­mi­gra­tion stand­ing and ef­forts to find hous­ing and jobs.

The LAPD has vowed to stop us­ing the data­base “for any­thing other than re­mov­ing in­di­vid­u­als from it,” and an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion found ex­ten­sive is­sues in en­tries. More than 20 other of­fi­cers are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in the widen­ing scan­dal.

The depart­ment re­vealed in Jan­uary that of­fi­cers had been as­signed to home duty or taken off pa­trol af­ter a mother com­plained last year that her son was wrongly iden­ti­fied as a gang mem­ber and a po­lice su­per­vi­sor be­gan a re­view.

State At­tor­ney Gen­eral Xavier Be­cerra on Tues­day urged other po­lice de­part­ments statewide to au­dit their own en­tries.

The three LAPD of­fi­cers are ac­cused of writ­ing at times that a per­son ad­mit­ted to be­ing a gang mem­ber, but video from po­lice body-worn cam­eras showed those listed were not asked about gang mem­ber­ship. Pros­e­cu­tors said some peo­ple de­nied gang af­fil­i­a­tion but the of­fi­cers wrote that they ad­mit­ted be­ing gang mem­bers.

AP FILE PHOTO

In this Feb. 10 file photo, Cal­i­for­nia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Xavier Be­cerra (sec­ond from right) an­nounces an in­de­pen­dent re­view of the Los An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment’s use of a gang mem­ber data­base af­ter al­le­ga­tions of mis­use in Los An­ge­les.

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