LAPD Internal Affairs officials said Tuesday they are revising how complaints against officers are investigated after an audit found critical shortcomings in nearly half the cases. The Police Commission’s inspector general looked at 46 serious complaints from 2004 and the first half of 2005 and found significant problems with 19 of them. “I think we should all be very concerned about what’s in this audit,” Commissioner Alan Skobin said Tuesday. While Los Angeles Police Department officials questioned the sample size, they pledged to boost training programs for Internal Affairs officers and to revisit some of the flawed probes. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita The criticisms in the audit range from leads and witnesses left unpursued to discrepancies between taped interviews and written summaries. In one case, auditors criticize investigators for not fully addressing a man’s allegations that an officer injured him by gouging his eye. Based on the flaws it found in the probe, the Inspector General’s Office disagreed with the department’s decision not to present the case for criminal prosecution. Another case involved a motorist’s allegations that officers stopped him because of his ethnicity. He was not cited or given a business card, and Internal Affairs investigators said they could not determine who the involved officers were. Auditors from the Inspector General’s Office, though, identified the likely officers by reviewing field-activity reports. Cmdr. Eric Lillo, head of the Internal Affairs Group, acknowledged that some of the cases present significant problems, and he promised detailed “biopsies” of the cases. However, Lillo said some of the disagreements were “subjective,” and he questioned the scope of the audit, saying the unit handles thousands of complaints against officers each year. “The overall context puts it in a different perspective,” he said. Deputy Chief Michael Berkow echoed those concerns about the sample size while saying he is disciplining some investigators based on the audit’s findings and working to tighten procedures. While Internal Affairs might take thousands of complaints a year, the auditors focused on the much smaller pool of serious allegations like use of force and racial discrimination, said Assistant Inspector General Beth Kennedy. The commissioners supported the methodology, with Skobin saying it appeared the auditors “focused on the meat.” Commission President John Mack told police officials, “It is important that you not diminish the significance of this random sample and the issues that have been raised.” While the inspector general’s audit is a yearly review, Commissioner Shelley Freeman suggested that another one be done sooner to determine whether there has been improvement. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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