We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct.
According to my sources inside of the LAPD, Detective Frank Lyga’s Internal Affairs investigation netted somewhere around 19 allegations with most of them being sustained. Sustained is the Department’s way of saying they found truth. A few of the allegations were dismissed.
Lyga’s bragging about driving fast in the carpool lane with no front plates didn’t go over too well, especially after the news broke that Captain Ruben De La Torre used duct tape on his patrol car’s license plate to avoid toll road violation cameras along the 91 Express Lanes.
“I drive a white Jeep Cherokee with no front plate—usually 100 miles an hour in the carpool lane.”
I’ll remind latecomers to this story that when Lyga said this, the room of cops he was speaking to erupted in applause and laughter. That’s noteworthy because you and I both know that it’s illegal to drive 100 miles per hour alone in your vehicle in the carpool lane with no front license plate.
Also at issue in Lyga’s Internal Affairs investigation was his admission of meeting Officer Kevin Gaines one night with then Officer Derwin Henderson. In 1997, after Lyga shot and killed Gaines in North Hollywood, he told investigators that he had never met Gaines and didn’t know who he was.
That part on the audio where Lyga says that his only regret regarding the shooting was that Gaines was alone in the truck at the time and that he could have “killed a whole truckload of them” and “would have been happily doing so” — killed any credibility he had to be able to testify in court on behalf of the LAPD. Any defense attorney worth their law degree who found Lyga on their witness list would be all over that statement.
Ever since the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling known as Brady vs. Maryland, prosecutors are required to notify defendants and their attorneys whenever a law enforcement official involved in their case has a sustained record for knowingly lying in an official capacity.
If a cop is found to be lying, that cop might receive what is known as a Brady letter placed in his or her file and from there on out would be referred to as a “Brady cop.” More often than not cops end up terminated if they’re caught or even suspected of lying about anything, unless as I am told they are “sponsored.”
It also seems that the LAPD has decided that Lyga cannot teach anymore or train any personnel as a representative of the Department.
Finally, but certainly not least, I’m told Lyga has been ordered to see the Department shrink for an evaluation. Chief Charlie Beck’s explanation a few weeks ago when he said he needed to know what Lyga was thinking when he made those comments feeds right into the need for Lyga to see a psychologist.
Anyway, I was told that Lyga showed up to LAPD headquarters and Gang and Narcotics Division yesterday to commiserate with anyone who would listen to him. Lyga seems to think all of this is unfair to him.
Insiders have also told me that there is little faith that Chief Beck will fire Lyga over his comments, which is interesting because Chief Beck not that long ago said that he only sends officers to a Board of Rights hearing to be terminated.
Lyga is expected to follow the Chief’s footsteps in using the defense that he misspoke. Who knows, it might work for him, it worked for the Chief.
No word yet on if Lyga’s comments disparaging several of his co-workers or his admission that he blackmailed then LAPD Chief Bernard Parks by threatening to go to the media and say that Gaines’ killing was a sanctioned Department hit were found to be sustained.