Los Angeles: Today, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton announced that investigators with the Department’s Professional Standards Bureau arrested a 13-year veteran officer early this morning for violating Penal Code Section 149, Assault Under the Color of Authority.
Forty-one-year-old Sean Joseph Meade was arrested at his home around 7:00 A.M. this morning after a non-stop investigation, which began around 2:00 A.M. Tuesday, December 5, 2006.
At approximately 1:25 A.M. on December 5, 2006, Officer Meade and his partner were handling booking procedures for the arrest of a 16-year-old Hispanic male, who had been detained in Chinatown on a curfew violation. The detainee had been taken to the Central Area Police Station.
After hearing a disturbance between Meade and the arrestee in a juvenile holding room, a third officer alerted the station watch commander who immediately initiated a personnel complaint investigation. The watch commander directed Scientific Investigation Division to take photographs of the holding room, the officer, and the detainee. The 16-year-old was examined at a local hospital, but he had no apparent injuries. He remains in custody at juvenile hall as police have not been able to locate his parents or a responsible guardian.
At the time of the incident, the officers and the watch commander were unaware that a camera, which had been set up near the holding room to obtain evidence of vandalism to chairs in the detective squad room, captured a portion of the assault.
Investigators and technicians enhanced the videotape and viewed it. Upon being notified of the preliminary findings, Chief Bratton ordered that Officer Meade be relieved of duty, which occurred at 8:00 P.M. on December 6, when the officer reported for duty at the police station. His badge, gun and police identification were taken.
After viewing the tape himself later that evening, Chief Bratton ordered the officer’s arrest. Prosecutors from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division (JSID) have been informed of the investigation, as has the Mayor’s office, Inspector General, the Police Commission, and the FBI.
The criminal and disciplinary investigations are ongoing. State law limits the amount of information the police department can disclose from a peace officer personnel complaint investigation, including the videotape of the incident.