Update: One of the officers has been fired. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says: “I do not believe that their intent was evil, just extremely misguided.” Read his full statement at the bottom.
Originally posted July 25 at 5:15 p.m.
So badly did two Los Angeles traffic officers want to prove their case against a DUI suspect, says the District Attorney today, that they lied both in a police report and on the witness stand.
Motorcycle cops Craig Allen, 39, and Phillip Walters, 56, have both been charged with “filing a false police report” and “perjury” — charges that could technically put them behind bars for over four years.
It's unusual for the D.A. to take such serious action…
… against police officers who haven't committed some huge, violent, high-profile crime. We've reached out to Deputy District Attorney Renee Chang for more details on the investigation and how these accusations originally came about, but for now the D.A.'s media relations office isn't talking.
Allen and Walters allegedly carried out their sketchy traffic stop on Saturday, September 4, 2010, during a DUI checkpoint.
According to a D.A. press release, Allen and Walters…
… were patrolling on motorcycles during a Sept. 4, 2010, DUI checkpoint when they were requested to respond to a traffic stop by another officer, Chang said. They allegedly arrived 15 minutes later. However, in a written report, Allen allegedly wrote he observed the driver fail to stop at two different stop signs and that he made
the traffic stop.
Walters allegedly testified at a Feb. 3, 2011, DMV administrative hearing regarding the driver's license that he also observed the driver fail to stop at two different stop signs and that he was with Allen when they stopped and arrested the driver.
Since then, an investigation into the cops' statements has apparently found that they did not, in fact, see the DUI suspect do anything wrong with their own eyes.
So why did they want their guy behind bars so bad? Guess we'll have to let all the juicy bits come out in court. In the meantime, here's a pretty awesome quote from Officer Walters about the new Harley-Davidson motor in his beloved patrolling machine:
“The 103-cubic-inch engine produces an outstanding power curve. Lots of torque in the mid-range makes for good third-gear riding during surface street sections and in the canyons.”
Update: This dramatic press statement from LAPD Chief Charlie Beck only makes the officers' actions and motives more mysterious.
The Los Angeles Police Department holds our officers to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism. Upon being notified of the allegations against our officers, the LAPD launched an internal investigation. Both officers were immediately removed from the field and given administrative assignments. As the internal and criminal investigations progressed, both officers were assigned home pending the outcome of the internal investigation.
“I am truly saddened by the events that led to the perjury charges pending against two of my officers” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “I do not believe that their intent was evil, just extremely misguided. The character of our organization is defined by the conduct that we condone. These actions were entirely unacceptable.”
Pursuant to the internal LAPD investigation, one officer has been fired and the other is facing termination at an administrative hearing.
Only thing more rare than the D.A. filing charges against an officer is the LAPD's own Internal Affairs Division finding him guilty and cutting off his pay, without a peep from the L.A. police union. So these motorcycle cops' decisions that September 4, and their coverup afterwards, could be worse than we imagined.