Below is my official response to the firing of Los Angeles Police Detective Frank Lyga.
“It is unfortunate that only after the media reported on Detective Frank Lyga’s comments did the Los Angeles Police Department finally investigate an incident that happened nearly one year ago—even though it was immediately reported to command staff at the time. They knew about it and choose to ignore it until it was reported on in the news and that fact should not be overlooked.
Detective Frank Lyga wrote his own termination when he said what he said. No one held a gun to his head and he didn’t make his comments under duress. In fact, after listening to the audio, it’s quite clear that in that moment Detective Lyga was the star of his own show, courtesy of the LAPD.
I understand that throughout Detective Lyga’s career he has done some great work on behalf of the department and public safety. It’s unfortunate that all of that work has come down to 26 minutes of audio in which he seemingly gloated in the 1997 killing of Los Angeles police officer Kevin Gaines.
His comments about killing Officer Gaines as well as his lack of respect for his colleagues, namely Captain Lillian Carranza, Lieutenant Paul Vernon, and Sergeant Derwin Henderson were despicable and areminder of the ‘old LAPD’ that Chief Charlie Beck constantly says is a thing of the past. Detective Lyga’s name calling of African-American attorney’s Johnnie Cochran and Carl Douglas were offensive and reprehensible.
The only thing more disgusting than what Detective Lyga said and did was the fact that out of a room full of sworn peace officers, only one had the wherewithal to say and do anything about it. It’s scary to think that there are men and women with a badge and gun working the streets of Los Angeles County who didn’t find anything wrong—and on many occasions laughed at what Detective Lyga said. Law enforcement always tells us civilians that when we see something, say something — but in this instance with the exception of one person, no one said anything.
I strongly urge Los Angles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to listen to the audio and to take a second look at the 1997 killing of Kevin Gaines by Detective Lyga. Especially the comments around Detective Lyga having run into him prior to the altercation that left Gaines dead.
There is no statute of limitations on homicide and even though I know that Gaines’ killing is not an issue the Los Angeles Police Department wishes to relive, I think the Gaines family as well as his colleagues and friends deserve to know the truth about whether or not Officer Gaines was killed in self-defense as Detective Lyga contends or murdered in cold blood as part of a sanctioned hit by the LAPD as mentioned by Lyga in that same training at the Police Academy.
I am not against the police. I am not against the police department, but I am against police who commit misconduct and those who help to cover it up.”