LAPD Responds to Poole Law Suit

September 29, 2000

On September 26, 2000, former Los Angeles Police Detective Russell Poole and his attorney, filed a civil suit against the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department (herein after referred to as "Department"), for violation of his civil rights. In the action filed, Poole is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

Consistent with a long-standing policy, the Department will not comment on any specifics relative to the civil action brought against the Department by Poole. Chief Bernard Parks stated, "These allegations by Mr. Poole are totally false. However, in light of the civil action brought against the City and the Department by Mr. Poole, it would be irresponsible, and not in the best interest of the people of the Los Angeles Community for the Department to engage in, or acquiesce to the involvement in any behavior that could be perceived as an attempt to try this case in the media. The District Court is the appropriate forum for which to address this matter. I am confident that the Department will be vindicated once this matter is properly adjudicated."

While not commenting on the specifics of the "Poole Lawsuit," it is important to note three (3) significant issues:

There are numerous processes in place, both internally and externally, for Mr. Poole to have made his complaints known at the time that he perceived they occurred. This would have given the proper authorities an opportunity to investigate his allegations immediately. It is unfortunate that he did not take advantage of these opportunities and instead, waited two (2) years to bring these allegations forward.

The 40-page report that is referenced in the lawsuit was not discarded or ignored but rather, was edited of all conjectural materials and inferences that could not be factually substantiated. Subsequently, the information, with additional supporting documentation, was submitted to the appropriate prosecutorial agencies.

Since early 1998, the Los Angeles Police Department Rampart Task Force has been diligently working to investigate the entire scope of the Rampart Case. This has included several hundred interviews, the management of several thousand clues (many of which could not be substantiated), the submittal of both criminal and administrative cases on numerous officers and the accumulation of [literally] one million pages of investigative material. It would appear that with this type of unprecedented effort, no one would jeopardize the success of this case by ignoring legitimate and factual investigative materials.

Additionally, it is important to note that Russell Poole’s resignation from the Los Angeles Police Department was voluntary. His resignation came approximately one year after he was removed from his assignment with the Rampart Investigation Task Force, for his involvement in an off-duty personnel matter.

This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Officer-in-Charge, Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.

For Release 5:00 pm PDT
September 29, 2000