Santa Claus teaches children many important lessons about ubiquitous surveillance and moral judgments,1 but if those children grow up to be LAPD officers, well, the lessons are no longer true for them. I mean, Santa Claus can make a list and check it twice and no matter how naughty officers are accused of being, a lot of time no one outside of 100 W. 1st Street ever hears a word about it.
This deep, deep silence gets even deeper when a board of rights is involved. These shadowy hearing boards review the Chief’s punishment recommendations and almost always overturn them. But the names of officers appearing before boards of rights are secret, as are their findings and pretty much everything about them. Boards of rights have gotten some attention from the news since 2017, though.
That’s when LA voters amended the Charter to allow for all-civilian membership. People feared that civilian boards would go much easier on accused officers, and the officers themselves clearly believe that this is the case. The usually toothless LAPD Office of the Inspector General is currently looking into the process afforded by these boards. And he’s going to release his conclusions in the aggregate. Like e.g. since they’ve been allowed to, it looks like 100% of LAPD officers choose all civilians.
Why? Well, we could ask them if we knew who they were, but … well, actually, I have a record for you! It’s a spreadsheet from August 2020 with lists of all pending board of rights hearings. I also exported this as a PDF and you can read it in HTML over here. It includes the names of the accused officers, their attorneys, and the names of the members of the boards of rights.
It reveals the date the precipitating incident took place and the date of the next scheduled hearing so it’s possible to see how long the process takes. So for instance, the next time you see LAPD Officer Oscar Rojas, serial number 43061, you could ask him how his hearing on December 7, 2020 went. Or LAPD Officer Monica Moore, serial number 35815, you can ask her if she’s worried about her upcoming hearing on February 8, 2021.
It has a ton of other information too, including other kinds of disciplinary processes, such as administrative appeals and civil service hearings, which are for non-sworn LAPD employees. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include a description of the offense, but now that we have their names, well, I guess we can just ask them what they did!