Judge: LAPD Must Warn People It's Illegal To File False Complaints Against Cops

Sandy Malone

A judge ruled that LAPD must have people filing complaints sign an advisory that says false complaints are illegal.

Los Angeles, CA – A judge tentatively ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles police union and said the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) must advise citizens filing complaints against officers that filing a false complaint is a misdemeanor.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD’s rank and file, filed the lawsuit in September of 2017 to force the police department to put a warning about false complaints on the paperwork that must be completed by individuals alleging misconduct against the officer, the Associated Press reported.

Supporters of the lawsuit said that giving people such a warning would cut down on the number of officers taken off the streets while false complaints are investigated.

They also pointed out that unsubstantiated complaints hurt the reputations and careers of the officers they’re filed against.

Critics warned of a chilling effect from the ruling that could keep some citizens from filing legitimate complaints, KNBC reported.

The judge conducted a non-jury trial in January and heard briefs by the attorneys the next month.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Broadbelt issued a permanent injunction on Nov. 26 that prohibited LAPD from accepting a complaint against an officer unless the person complaining has read and signed an advisor warning that filing a false complaint is illegal.

Broadbelt noted in his ruling the testimony of LAPD Officer Steve Gordon who said that gang members used the complaints as a way to get rid of troublesome and effective police officers in their neighborhoods, KNBC reported.

The judge scheduled a hearing date on the temporary ruling on Jan. 30.

Lawyers for the City Attorney’s Office have argued that there as conflicting law at the state and federal level over whether the warning should be issued, and whether the warning violated constitutionally-protected free speech, KNBC reported.

Comments (32)
tfort
tfort

An unsubstantiated complaint doesn’t mean the cop didn’t to something wrong. Let the citizen view the body camera so he can see the actual event.

No. 1-14
RetiredCorrections
RetiredCorrections

I don’t see the problem, if in fact it is a true statement, why would someone not want to sign a statement saying they acknowledge it’s a crime to make a false statement.

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

Too many whiny idiots/critics out there who think they know everything especially the ones with the victim mentality. I agree with “Retired Corrections”, if they are telling the truth, why wouldn’t they sign.

JBoH
JBoH

"Critics warned of a chilling effect from the ruling that could keep some citizens from filing legitimate complaints, ..."

I fail to see how warning someone that it's against the law to file a false complaint will stop people from filing legitimate complaints.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Even more important is to prosecute those that do file false complaints.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

In 2017, there were five officer infractions and 79 false complaints.

In 2018, after body cams were implemented, there were 56 infractions and 264 false complaints...

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

The warning is great, but if they don't charge the people who file these false complaints, or even worse, drop the charges against criminals simply because they file a complaint, there is still no discouragement to not accuse the cop of misconduct.

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

A judge ruled that LAPD must have people filing complaints sign an advisory that says false complaints are illegal.

except for one BIG problem! complaints can and should be filed anonymously! NO ONE SHOULD EVER HAVE TO SHOW ID, GIVE THERE NAME, OR SIGN a police complaint form! so if a cop is getting a lot of complaints, then maybe there is a PROBLEM with that piggy. someone should let the judge know that we can file a complaint anonymously! and by being forced to sign is a violation of the 4th amendment!

Mighty_Mouse04
Mighty_Mouse04

Why shouldn’t they sign something to that effect. We have to sign government forms from time to time, i.e. the DMV, IRS, a police report against another person, etc... that state something like I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States and ( insert municipality or state here) the foregoing is true and correct. Why shouldn’t filing a false report against an officer be any different?

DarrellB
DarrellB

This is a farce on its face. The union is protecting their own, good for them. I'll bet the real problem is the Libs in Commiefornia have started declining charges against LIARS and this is being put on place to force their hands. It has always been wrong to LIE! It is just worse now that snowflakes and Libs want to destroy careers (scorched earth policy) just to get their way, not the right way, not actual justice, just their way.

Anomie88
Anomie88

Next, the police will have to advise a rapist, right before attacking his victim, that what he is about to do is illegal. The police will have to sign off on the warning they gave, and will be prosecuted by DA Larry Krasner, if they fail to make that admonishment.

Stanracer
Stanracer

A good idea all around. There needs to be accountability.

61mouse
61mouse

Should be a felony . Not like that would matter anyways.


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