We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help to cover it up.)
Oh happy day! It looks like the Los Angeles Police Department has given me an early birthday present.
Earlier this year, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told us that he only sends his officers to Board of Rights hearings to be terminated.
I’ve confirmed through various channels that LAPD veteran Detective Frank Lyga has completed his Board of Rights hearing and has been recommended for termination regarding his little meltdown last fall. You know the meltdown where he said among other things, that he wished he’d have killed a truckload of them when referencing the 1997 killing of Black off-duty police officer Kevin Gaines and that he’d basically blackmailed then Chief Bernard Parks into keeping him in the gangs and narcotics division. What did he have on Parks you ask? Well according to witnesses, Lyga said that he threatened to expose Gaines’ killing as a sanctioned hit by the LAPD.
That isn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the gems that came out of the audio of that November 15, 2013 training at the Police Academy where Detective Lyga was the guest of honor.
Let’s see, there was the part about Lyga bragging about driving fast in the carpool lane with no front plates, which I understand didn’t go over too well with the powers that be, especially after the news broke about Captain Ruben De La Torre using 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.,” –Detective Frank Lyga.
And let’s not forget when Lyga said 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.” A statement that killed any credibility he had to be able to testify in court on behalf of the department in future.
Any defense attorney worth their law degree who found Lyga on their witness list would have been all over that statement.
At the time of the shooting, which sparked the Rampart scandal, Lyga said that he didn’t know who Gaines was and that he had never met him before.
However, in the audio, Lyga recalls an earlier encounter he had with a former trainee, Derwin Henderson, who happened to have Gaines in the car with him, completely contradicting his earlier account of the 1997 incident or as the LAPD refers to it as “providing false and misleading statements.” And I threw this tidbit of information in there for Jackie Lacey’s office.
According to a November 18, 2013 memo to Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger from an unnamed officer in that training, Lyga also said that he had threatened to go to the media after he shot and killed Gaines in 1997. Lyga told approximately 37 people, including members of the LAPD, Glendale Police Department,California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Port Police, and Los Angeles Unified School Police, that then Chief Bernard Parks wanted to “send him to another unit” after the shooting to “hide him for awhile.” Lyga said that he was “pissed” and told his Captain at the time that “if Parks puts me there I’m going to the media and tell them that this was a sanctioned hit on Gaines by the LAPD.”
Lyga followed those comments to the group by laughing and saying “I basically blackmailed the Chief.”
In addition to gloating over killing Gaines, Lyga described 77th Division Captain Lillian Carranza as a “very cute Hispanic lady who couldn’t find her ass with both of her hands.” Lyga also said Carranza had been “swapped around a bunch of times.”
She’s now suing alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress and false light invasion of privacy, and is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Lyga also referred to civil rights attorney Johnnie Cochran as a “crooked-lipped motherfucker” and attorney Carl Douglas as [Johnnie Cochran’s] “little Ewok assistant.”
Still no word on the fate of all of those other officers, minus the one who reported it of course, who sat there and didn’t say or do a damn thing about Lyga’s comments except for laugh and applaud him.
We’re anxious to see if Jackie Lacey’s office is going to charge Lyga with murder or something based on his comments regarding Gaines’ killing.
But we are going to hold off on popping the cork on the champagne in celebration of Lyga being recommended for termination.
At the end of the day, it’s only a recommendation and the Chief has the final say over what happens to Lyga. Let us not forget that a Board of Rights also recommended termination for Shaun “I like to call Black people niggers and monkeys and whip out my gun on them on my days off” Hillmann, and he ended up with a slap on the wrist courtesy of Chief Beck. I’m sure it also helped that Hillmann’s uncle and father are department favorites.
So for now we’ll hold off on celebrating and wait and see what Chief Beck does with the recommendation. Hopefully he does the right thing and sends Lyga’s ass packing.
UPDATE 3:42 P.M. – I just heard from a reliable source that Chief Beck has signed off on the termination of Lyga and that he has three days to retire. Well I’ll be damned. Finally. We’ll let you know when it’s “department” official.