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LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
Wednesday, November 15, 2000
"LAPD Responds to Jury Verdicts on Police Officers"
On 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 the following verdicts:
Edward Ortiz – Guilty on one count of Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice (PC 182(a)(5); Guilty on one count of Filing a False Police Report (PC 118.1); Not guilty on one count of Filing a False Police Report (PC 118.1).
Brian Liddy – Guilty on one count of Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice; Guilty on one count of Filing a False Police Report; Not guilty on two counts of Filing a False Police Report.
Michael Buchanan – Guilty on one count of Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice; Guilty on two counts of Filing a False Police Report.
Paul Harper – Not Guilty on one count of Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice; Not Guilty on one count of Filing a False Police Report.
In this regard, the jury’s verdict, while providing some closure to a segment of the Rampart Corruption Scandal, highlights the diligent investigative efforts of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart Corruption Task Force. Chief Bernard Parks, commenting on the jury’s verdict, stated, "While it is always a sad chapter in the law enforcement profession to see police officers convicted of crimes, it is important that we as a Department send a clear message to all that misconduct, under any circumstances, will not be tolerated. The Department will aggressively investigate all allegations toward that end and take appropriate actions."
The instant case involving the aforementioned individuals, serves to illustrate that the Los Angeles Police Department can, when given the opportunity, police its own. It was the Los Angeles Police Department who discovered the criminal activities of Raphael Perez; it was the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) who investigated this matter and developed the necessary evidence required to bring this case to trial, resulting in today’s outcome. Chief Bernard Parks stated, " Though a painful admission, it is important to note that true reform efforts of the Los Angeles Police Department, began as a result of the LAPD’s expeditious and exhaustive investigation into the Rampart Corruption Scandal. The vast majority of men and women of the LAPD, on a day-to-day basis, perform their duties with integrity and honesty. We owe it to the law enforcement profession and to the people of the Los Angeles community, to conduct ourselves in an ethical and lawful manner."
Chief Parks continued, " On behalf of the men and women of the LAPD and the people of this community, I would like to offer my thanks to Commander Dan Schatz, Lieutenant Emmanuel Hernandez, Lieutenant Charles Carlton, Detectives Chris Barling, John Skaggs, Brian Tyndall, Shelly Demucha, Stuart Michelson and the other 40 members of the Rampart Investigation Corruption Task Force, for their arduous, investigative efforts in this onerous matter. I would also like to thank Attorneys Anne Ingalls, Laura Laeseceke and the other members of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Special Prosecution Team for their hard work in this matter. Finally, I recognize that the vast majority of Los Angeles officers are hard working and diligent. To those officers, I want to say thank you for continuing with your efforts toward ensuring for the safety and security of the people of this community. "
The Department is truly sorry for those employees who, based on their nefarious and criminal actions, violated the public’s trust and confidence. We are committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure that this type of behavior does not happen again.
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
November 15, 2000