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Jan 2011
Getting it wrong: Continued misreporting on the Rampart scandal

NPR reporter Mandalit del Barco’s recent story, “Finance Probe Raises Ire Among Some LAPD Officers” is wrong when it comes to the Rafael Perez scandal.

Del Barco claims, “Rafael Perez was the central figure of the 1990s LAPD corruption scandal. He and more than 70 anti-gang unit officers in L.A.'s Rampart Division were found to be planting evidence, framing and even shooting alleged gang members.”

The truth is that, after all was written and investigated, the Rafael Perez scandal resulted in only four convictions – and only two of which were for corruption. And, as a result of Perez’s lies, a federal court upheld a $15 million jury award for three Los Angeles police officers who were falsely arrested and prosecuted.

The Perez case involved individual officers whose wrongdoing was mischaracterized in an effort to taint all LAPD officers. We abhor officer corruption even more than people claiming the moral high ground do, because every officer ends up paying the price for those who failed to uphold their sworn oaths.

Continued misreporting of the Rampart events is unfair to the falsely accused officers, and especially to those still on the job protecting the public. When news stories on widely reported incidents get it wrong, we are compelled to point out what really happened.



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