LAPD Investigating Officers for Failing Integrity Test
Los Angeles: Wednesday morning, May 10, 2006, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Ethics Enforcement Section confronted a 16-year veteran officer, Edward Zamora, following a six-month investigation into Zamora's activities while on duty.
Officer Zamora, 44, came to the investigators' attention during a routine review of officers' work histories, which included reviewing arrest reports, public claims, personnel complaints, and other records. The detectives noticed a pattern worthy of investigating, and designed a series of controlled situations to test Zamora’s veracity.
"This investigation reaffirms the LAPD's commitment to full implementation of the Consent Decree and its mandates, which ironically arose from officers assigned to Rampart station in the late nineties," said Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton.
Late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, undercover investigators conducted their audit to determine how Zamora and his partner would handle an arrest. At the audit's conclusion, the investigators notified Zamora and his partner and relieved them from duty. Both officers are assigned to home, pending the outcome.
The original investigation had only focused on Zamora, who has been assigned to Rampart Police Station since 1992. There is no indication that Zamora’s behavior is linked to any other officers.
Detectives will determine what part, if any, the partner officer had in the event. Zamora's partner was not originally part of the investigation.
Investigators presented the case to the District Attorney's office yesterday. It will be up to prosecutors to determine what, if any, criminal charges will be filed. Zamora will also face internal, administrative charges, which are typically addressed after the criminal review is done.
Professional Standards Bureau, LAPD's internal affairs, is conducting an intensive review of Zamora's arrest reports and daily field activities. The Police Commission's Inspector General has monitored the investigation since its inception.
The Ethics Enforcement Section was created in 2001, and is made up of undercover detectives and sergeants. They track and analyze officers’ activities, looking for aberrant problems. They conduct tests, or audits, to evaluate police integrity. In 2005, the unit conducted 47 audits of possible criminal activities. The unit’s findings are reported to the Police Commission. The unit also audits conformance to department policy, such as the likelihood of officers accepting a public complaint.