Officer Rene Braga is charged with one count of filing a false police report and one count of preparing false documentary evidence, according to a news release on Friday by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. Meanwhile, officers Julio Garcia and Raul Uribe are facing one count of preparing false documentary evidence.
The officers were placed under arrest on Thursday at about 7 a.m. and were released from police custody on their own recognizance after a few hours, according to NBC Los Angeles.
“In all three cases, the defendants are accused of writing on the card that a person admitted to being a gang member even though body-worn camera video showed the defendants either never asked the individuals about their gang membership or the individuals denied gang membership if they were asked,” the news release reads.
From that point, the interview cards were used to falsely enter individuals into a gang member database.
The charges follow another three arrested officers named Nicolas Martinez, Braxton Shaw, and Michael Coblentz who are facing similar charges. They also serve with the LAPD’s Metropolitan Division.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore released a statement on Twitter condemning the misconduct and vowed that officers will do better for residents in the future.
“Public trust is the bedrock of community policing and these allegations shake that foundation. The actions of these few tarnish the badge we all wear,” Moore wrote.
“The department is committed to continuing this comprehensive investigation in our effort to restore the confidence of the people we protect and serve.”
The issue first came to light in January when a mother told authorities she received a letter from the LAPD that wrongly identified her son as a gang member. The case is currently under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.