Saturday, December 23, 2000
LAPD Responds to Superior Court's Findings Relative to Case of People v. Edward Ortiz et alOn November 15, 2000, the Jury in the case of People of the State of California v. Edward Ortiz, Brian Liddy, Paul Harper and Michael Buchanan returned guilty verdicts against Edward Ortiz, Brian Liddy and Michael Buchanan, and a not guilty verdict against Paul Harper.
On December 22, 2000, Judge Jacqueline Connor, Los Angeles Superior Court, in a very detailed and lengthy ruling, overturned the guilty verdicts in the Rampart Corruption Scandal, citing that the verdicts were both contrary to the evidence and the rule of law.
While acknowledging the Court's authority to rule on matters such as the one at hand, the Department remains steadfast in its commitment to engage in meaningful reform efforts and correct deficiencies identified in the Board of Inquiry Report into the Rampart Corruption Scandal. This report was the result of a bold and unprecedented move by the Department to conduct a comprehensive audit into its systems and procedures, in response to the Rampart Area Corruption Scandal. It is important to note that this ruling by the Court is not a dismissal of the case but rather, a rejection of the verdicts because of the basis upon which the verdicts were reached. While any decision to re-try this case rests solely within the purview of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, the Los Angeles Police Department will continue to work closely with all respective prosecutorial entities, as appropriate.
In response to the Court's ruling, Los Angeles Chief of Police, Bernard Parks, stated, "The ruling notwithstanding, it is important that we as a Department move forward with identifying and rooting out corruption at all levels of the Department. Additionally, it is imperative that we proceed with focusing our efforts toward our number one priority/commitment to the people of this community; fighting crime and the fear and incidence of crime, along with ensuring the absence of public disorder."
Chief Parks continued, "We must also, not forget the efforts of the vast majority of LAPD officers who, despite recent challenges and controversies, continue to provide the community with the highest level of quality service."
This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Officer-in-Charge, Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.
For Release 5:00 pm PST
December 23, 2000