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News Release

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Media Relations

LAPD Officer Charged with Assault Appears in Court NR14272aa

Los Angeles:  An LAPD officer was arraigned today in Los Angeles Superior Court on charges of assaulting a man while taking him into custody in 2012.

Officer Jonathan Lai was assigned to LAPD's Central Division when he and his partner approached a man standing outside a restaurant near downtown's Staples Center. Officer Lai used his collapsible baton to strike the man several times while taking him into custody.

The LAPD conducted a use of force investigation and discovered video footage of the incident. Soon after reviewing the video footage, an internal affairs investigation was initiated and Officer Lai and his partner were removed from field duties pending the outcome of the investigation. LAPD subsequently referred the case to the L.A. District Attorney's Office, Justice System Integrity Division, for possible criminal charges.

“The LAPD carefully reviews incidents involving the use of force and we conduct thorough investigations to ensure that officers are held accountable for violating policies and going beyond the law,” said Chief of Police Charlie Beck. “I am always concerned when an officer is accused of violating the public's trust and we will continue to work closely with the District Attorney's Office and the Department's Office of Inspector General to take appropriate action and work to prevent these types of incidents in the future.”

Police Officer II Jonathan Lai, a 6-year veteran of the LAPD, last assigned to Central Division, surrendered to authorities this morning and was booked for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and Assault Under the Color of Authority.