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News Release

Thursday, January 27, 2000

Media Relations

Chief gives update on Rampart Task Force

LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
PRESS RELEASE
Thursday, January 27, 2000

CHIEF PARKS HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE TO ANNOUNCE UPDATED INFORMATION ON RAMPART TASK FORCE INVESTIGATION

On Wednesday, January 26, 2000, Chief Bernard Parks held a press conference to announce the latest updates in the Rampart Task Force investigation.

In May of 1998, a special Task Force was implemented by the LAPD to completely explore all of the allegations of misconduct alleged by former Officer Rafael Perez. As of January 2000, the Task Force has tripled in size to include more than 30 detectives, who have conducted over 300 interviews with defendants and witnesses in many Department of Corrections facilities throughout the country. Investigators have also traveled outside the United States to interview individuals who were deported as a result of their criminal involvement.

In today's press conference, the Chief discussed the progress of the special Task Force on those "Habeas Corpus" cases which have been identified by former Officer Rafael Perez. Based on debriefings with Perez, 57 cases have been identified as containing fabricated evidence and/or perjured testimony that have resulted in criminal convictions. There have been 99 defendants identified in those 57 Habeas Corpus cases. LAPD Detectives assigned to the Task force have traveled throughout the States of California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Massachusetts, as well as the South American Countries of Guatemala and El Salvador, in an effort to locate and interview these defendants. The highest investigative priority has been placed on the individuals that remain incarcerated.

Los Angeles Police Department Investigators have been able to locate and interview 52 defendants and 12 witnesses. It is estimated that 7 additional defendants will be located and interviewed in the immediate future. In the remaining instances, it has been discovered that 1 of the defendants is deceased, 9 have refused to be interviewed, 16 have been deported, 2 cannot be located, and 12 have felony warrants for their arrest. The Department is exercising due diligence in locating these outstanding defendants.

As indicated above, the Department has located and interviewed 52 defendants whose criminal cases have been severely tainted and cannot be salvaged. Additionally, of the previously mentioned 12 felony warrants, 8 are based on Perez's tainted evidence and arrests. The Chief has strongly recommended to the District Attorney that the cases investigated by the LAPD Task Force regarding these 60 defendants be resolved immediately. The Chief has also encouraged the District Attorney to expeditiously file criminal charges against involved officers whose cases have been presented for criminal filing.

Chief Parks will continue to provide the public with the progress of the Los Angeles Police Department's Rampart Task Force investigation. The Chief stated, "Along with the vast majority of the dedicated men and women of the LAPD, I am committed to eliminating any corruption within the Los Angeles Police Department."

For further information or questions, contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.


For Release 8:30 am PST
January 27, 2000